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Japan's Puerto Rico?

Sukotto

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9 Jul 2003
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I wasn't sure where to post this.


Last week I was listening to a radio program on Wis. Public Radio and the guest on the show referred to Okinawa as "Japan's Puerto Rico".
How does this sound to people? Offensive? Accurate?

The guest was Chalmers Johnson, president of the Japan Policy Research Institute; professor emeritus, University of California. He has written many books on Japan's MITI and most recently two books about US foreign policy titled "Blowback" and "Sorrows of Empire". He was discussing the latter, his most recent when he referred to Okinawa as "Japan's Puerto Rico".

The below is the site page. Unfortunately this topic is not available for download as some hours are. But that's where I heard it.


http://www.wpr.org/merens/index.cfm?strDirection=Prev&dteShowDate=2004-03-04 16:00:00
 
IMHO, it would be offensive, if Okinawans were looked upon as poor outcasts. It would be accurate if the economy and lifestyle of Okinawans was at par with Puerto Ricans. I hope Mr. Johnson had done his reasearch to make sure his theory is legoit, cause it can get slammed down in a hurry! Again, JMHO.
 
poor outcasts!?!?!?!?!?!?!

What!
-Points to Esca location------>

POOR OUTCASTS!?!?!? :auch: Now that was a serious kick! :cautious:Now what would make you think Puerto Ricans were poor outcasts!!!!!! :mad: And I take it Okinawans are a superior wealthy race of human?
:atchoo: Bullshit...... :atchoo:
 
I could ask the same thing...BEcause i know i didn't read it in the link
:cautious: just checked the link and poor outcasts isn't there!
 
I don't know much about Puerto Rico to comment on the subject, but I think it depends on who's relations of Puerto Rico we're talking about. The US? (eg. Puerto Rico is the US's Okinawa)
I've always thought Okinawa as Japan's Hawaii. Compared with the US, Hawaii is a distant island from the mainland, have different culture, have different and loca l'language,' (the skies are blue), etc. similar to Okinawa.
 
EscaFlowne said:
What!
-Points to Esca location------>

POOR OUTCASTS!?!?!? :auch: Now that was a serious kick! :cautious:Now what would make you think Puerto Ricans were poor outcasts!!!!!! :mad: And I take it Okinawans are a superior wealthy race of human?
:atchoo: Bullshit...... :atchoo:


:auch: :box:

*iron fist punches escaflowne*

EscaFlowne, if you're going to flame on me for a misunderstanding in my posting, you've got the wrong idea! (PMed you on that, btw.)
Let me rephrase my last post:

I don't think it is fair to compare Okinawa with Puerto Rico, or put both PR and Okinawa in the same boat. True, they are part of Japan and the USA, IMHO. And yes, they are located in a tropical setting. But are the people of Okinawa better off overall than the people of Puerto Rico, or vice versa? If so, then I feel they are not comparable.

Thus, I don't see the justification and validity of Mr. Johnson's comparison or Puerto Rico and Okinawa.

Keiichi said:
I don't know much about Puerto Rico to comment on the subject, but I think it depends on who's relations of Puerto Rico we're talking about. The US? (eg. Puerto Rico is the US's Okinawa)
I've always thought Okinawa as Japan's Hawaii. Compared with the US, Hawaii is a distant island from the mainland, have different culture, have different and loca l'language,' (the skies are blue), etc. similar to Okinawa.

To an extent, this is commendable. I haven't been to Puerto Rico, but it seems that it's very fast paced. In Hawai'i, I would assume the tempo is laid back and more relaxed than in Puerto Rico. However, if Okinawa has a very good economy in itself (which it doesn't), it would be more like Hawai'i because it's a tourist destination.

Also, because Hawaii and Puerto Rico's beaches have suffered pollution, Okinawa can be compared to those two in terms of cleanliness.
 
Last edited:
Pardon the double post, but here's a comparison of both Hawaii's, Puerto Rico's and Okinawa's economies:

PUERTO RICO


Gross National Product (GNP): $38.1 billion; per capita: $9,973 (1999)


Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - purchasing power parity - $43.01 billion (2002 est.)

GDP per capita: purchasing power parity - $11,200 (2001 est.)
Puerto Rican workers are covered by the U.S. Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are subject only to the Federal minimum wage ($5.15) and all applicable regulations. Workers not covered by the FLSA will be subject to a minimum wage that is at least 70 percent of the Federal minimum wage or the applicable mandatory decree rate, whichever is higher. Labor costs are below the mainland average, but are higher than in other areas of the Caribbean Basin.

Basic Minimum Rate (per hour): $3.61 to $5.15.

Gross Domestic Product: real growth rate - -0.2% (2002 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 1%
industry: 45%
services: 54% (1999 est.)

Average hourly wage: $8.08/hour, well below the U.S. average.


Household income and expenditure:

Average family size: 3.6
Income per family: U.S. $27,017

Sources of income: wages and salaries 56.3%, transfers 29.5%, self-employment 6.4%, rent 5.2%, other 2.6%; expenditure (1995): food and beverages 20.4%, transportation 13.6%, health care 13.4%, housing and energy 12.2%, household furnishings 12.0%, recreation 8.9%. (1995)

Inflation Rate (consumer prices): 5% (2002 est.)

General Merchandise Tax: 0 percent; Puerto Rico does not charge GMT.

Finance:
There are currently 19 commercial banks in Puerto Rico, most of them local corporations. Local banks institutions includes: Banco Popular, which is considered the largest banking institution in the island, with over one hundred branches throughout the island, Banco de Ponce, Banco de San Juan, and Banco Mercantil de Puerto Rico; and branches of US: Citibank and FirstBank; and foreign banks: Banco Bilbao-Vizcaya, and Banco Santander, the second largest bank in Puerto Rico. The government owns and operates two specialized banks窶 the Government Development Bank (GDB) and the Economic Development Bank (EDB).
Banks offer a wide range of products and services such as checking and savings accounts, CDs, IRAs, loans, credit and debit cards, and electronic banking. Automatic teller machines are abundant, commonly referred to as ATHs. Banks are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. They are subject to all Federal controls applicable to banks in the United States of America.

Labor Force: 1.3 million (2000)
By occupation: agriculture 3%, industry 20%, services 77% (2000 est.)


Construction Growth: 15% (1997 est.)
Construction is currently one of the most dynamic activities in Puerto Rico窶冱 economy. Since the mid-1980s, the construction industry has grown faster than most other economic sectors, helping to sustain the overall growth of the economy.

Organized Labor:
115,000 members in 4 unions; the largest is the General Confederation of Puerto Rican Workers with 35,000 members (1983).

Population Economically Active: total 1,228,000; activity rate 32.2% (participation rates: ages 16-64, 52.9%; female 39.4%; unemployed 13.8%). (1995)

Unemployment Rate: 12% (2002)



Budget:

revenues: $6.7 billion
expenditures: $9.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY99/00)

HAWAII

HAWAI窶露'S ECONOMY
Gross State Product (2000): $ 39.1 billion

Major export industries:
Visitor expenditures (2000): $10.9 billion Federal defense spending (2000): $4.4 billion Sugar and pineapple (1999): $276.1 million

The State of Hawai窶亙 is committed to diversifying the economy. Industries encouraged are science and technology, film and television production, sports, ocean research and development, health and education tourism, diversified agriculture and floral and specialty food products.

TOURISM
Visitors staying overnight or longer (2000): 6,948,595

By country (2000): Mainland U.S., 4.1 million; Japan,1.8 million

Visitor expenditures (2000): $10.9 billion

Average daily visitor expenditure (2000): U.S. West, $146; U.S. East, $164; Japan, $222

Total hotel and condominium units (2000): 71,506
O窶和hu 36,303
Maui 17,473
Hawai窶亙 9,774
Moloka窶亙 429
Kaua窶亙 7,159
Lana窶亙 368


State hotel occupancy rate (2000) 77.9 %
O窶和hu 79.0
Maui 80.1
Hawai窶亙 72.8
Moloka窶亙 42.7
Kaua窶亙 74.8


Average daily room rate (2000) $151.79
O窶和hu 121.36
Maui 189.78
Hawai窶亙 175.93
Moloka窶亙 79.77
Kaua窶亙 170.54


The Hawai窶亙 Convention Center opened in 1998. It has hosted meetings as large as 30,000 and has a calendar of meetings scheduled to 2010.

The Hawai窶亙 Tourism Authority oversees the planning and marketing of tourism in Hawai窶亙.

OKINAWA

Okinawa has a Gross Prefectural Product of ツ・3,365 billion and the value of Manufactured Goods Shipments is ツ・584 billion.

(3,365,000,000 yen = $30,361,874.09 = $30.3 million US)

Hence, in terms of economy, Okinawa is nowhere close to Puerto Rico or Hawaii. Okinawa is just...Okinawa.
 
The analogy is pretty valid imo.

Okinawa is the poorest prefecture in Japan and heavily dependent on aid from the central government.

Okinawans are a different ethic with their own ethnic culture. Okinawans used to be discriminated against in the Japanese society.

Okinawans had their own independent kingdom until about 400 years ago. Some of them are still protesting for independence.

Okinawa produced the greatest number of pro-boxing world champions in Japan.
 
fugue said:
The analogy is pretty valid imo.

Okinawa is the poorest prefecture in Japan and heavily dependent on aid from the central government.

Okinawans are a different ethic with their own ethnic culture. Okinawans used to be discriminated against in the Japanese society.

Indeed. Hence, the old perception that Japanese and US people view Okinawans and Puerto Ricans as "outcasts." (which I noted in my first post as "offensive.")

Okinawans had their own independent kingdom until about 400 years ago. Some of them are still protesting for independence.

Likewise, to compare Okinawa with Hawai'i, the native Hawai'ian movement has been going strong since Queen Lili'uokalani and the Kingdom of Hawai'i was overthrown.

Okinawa produced the greatest number of pro-boxing world champions in Japan.

And of course, Puerto Rico has had a good boxing tradition as well.
 
EscaFlowne, if you're going to flame on me for a misunderstanding in my posting, you've got the wrong idea! (PMed you on that, btw.)

Well, if you don't mind me saying so, Hachiko, your original post was very easy to misinterpret. I'm glad you went back and changed it.
 
kirei_na_me said:
Well, if you don't mind me saying so, Hachiko, your original post was very easy to misinterpret. I'm glad you went back and changed it.

:) Point well taken.
 
well since the link doesnt give much to go on nor does the original post im going to argue the other side of this.
puerto rico, hawaii whatever its the same thing, i suppose i could bring guam and the virgin islands into this too, but why? the point the guy was making was that while okinawa is a part of japan its still likes to be its own place. which i think is more like PR as they prefer to stay a territory rather than to become a state. also puerto ricos primary location relitive to the US is south. people may want to check their perceptions of PR before finding offense in the original statement.
 
Sumimasen

Sorry I was not able to post ealier, technical difficulties.

I do believe the author was referring to the geo-political
relationship between the larger entity and the smaller.

Referring to both Puerto Rico and Okinawa as a colony of the larger.


I just picked up the book by Chalmers Johnson and will
get to it as soon as I am finished with my current.
Will check back with any further info he has on this.
 
Puerto Ricans hablan Espanol
Americanos hablan Ingles

Japanese speak Japanese
Okinawans speak Japanese

Go ahead, somebody say Okinawa is part of China.
 
My wife is Okinawan on her mother's side, her grandfather can directly trace the family lineage back to the royal family that used to rule the Ryukyus. Mind you, this isn't as impressive as it sounds because about half of Okinawa's population are in some way descended from the old nobility, but its one of those facts I like to drop into the conversation at social gatherings back home because it never fails to draw a reaction. Needless to say, I never mention that little qualifier when I'm trying to impress people.

Er...suppose that is sort of off-topic. Sorry. I think the Puerto Rico comparison is valid in the sense that Tokyo has about the same amount of disregard for the well-being of Okinawans that Washington has for Puerto Ricans. There is a long history there. Some Okinawans still feel a lot of bitterness towards Japan as a result of the war. The battle of Okinawa was particularly brutal for Okinawans, about 1/3 of the population was killed. Yet at the time it was fought the Japanese government already knew that the war was a lost cause, so they effectively allowed all those people to die for no purpose whatsoever. Plus the behaviour of Japanese troops occupying Okinawa towards the people was quite atrocious, about on par with the actions of those in the rest of Asia.

This sort of ill-treatment continued after the war too. The occupation of Japan ended in 1951, but the Japanese government allowed the occupation of Okinawa to continue for another twenty years, which helped stunt the region's post-war economic growth and was a source of further hardship for the Okinawan people. Continuing up until today Okinawa still has to bear the brunt of the US military presence in Japan. 75% of US troops are based in Okinawa, which only makes up about 1% of Japan's land mass. About 20% of Okinawa's total landmass is taken up by US military facilities, which have had a massive negative effect on the prefecture's environment. The so-called 'handouts' from the central government usually take the form of unneeded pork-barrell projects that further harm the environment and are mainly designed to give business to well-connected mainland construction firms. One example is the current plan to re-locate a US military airstrip to an artificial island which will completely destroy one of Okinawa's last remaining coral reefs. The cost of this project is estimated in the billions of dollars (yes, dollars not yen) and will be of absolutely no benefit to any Okinawans.

I don't know much about Puerto Rico, but I would guess that Okinawa under Japanese rule has actually suffered quite a bit more than Puerto Rico under American rule, which seems to be contrary to what most people here think.
 
Golgo_13 said:
Puerto Ricans hablan Espanol
Americanos hablan Ingles

Japanese speak Japanese
Okinawans speak Japanese

Go ahead, somebody say Okinawa is part of China.

Well, some Americans speak Spanish, and some Okinawans can speak Chinese, so that generalization has some catches.
 
Hachiko said:
Well, some Americans speak Spanish, and some Okinawans can speak Chinese, so that generalization has some catches.

Well, some Puerto Ricans speak English, and some Japanese speak Chinese.

Your turn.
 
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