VFP-ROCK, (VFP-Ryukyu-Okinawa-Chapter-Kokusai), released this statement:
On the Use of Remains of War Dead as Landfill for New US Marine Base in Okinawa
The project to build a new base for the US Marines at Henoko in Okinawa, now in its 25th year, continues as an ongoing insult to the Okinawan people, who have repeatedly rejected the plan in elections and referenda, the most recent of the latter showing 72% opposed.
The recently revealed plan of the Okinawa Defense Bureau to use as landfill for this project, dirt from an area where the remains of people killed in the Battle of Okinawa are still today regularly discovered, intensifies this insult. War dead in Okinawa means Okinawans, Japanese, Koreans, Taiwanese, British and Americans. The US Defense Department’s POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) has estimated the number of Americans still missing from the Battle of Okinawa at over 200. If this soil is used as landfill, no one can say that the remains of none of these Americans will be in it.
Of course, to randomly bury the remains of the war dead of any nationality beneath a military base shows a stunning obliviousness to the preciousness of human life, but the image of dumping – from dump trucks – American bones as fill over which to build an American base makes one wonder, What can they be thinking?
The sign at the entrance to Arlington Cemetery reminds visitors that these are “hallowed grounds”. If this new base is built over the scattered and nameless remains of war dead, the grounds there will be accursed both to the dead below and to the living above.