After filing the dissertation in June, I was able to spend more time in western Tokyo to meet other people who actually participated in the Sunagawa Struggle. Part of my post-dissertation research included re-interviewing some people and talking with journalists who have been reporting on the Japanese government’s recent moves to reinterpret Article Nine of the constitution. Enomoto Tetsuya, the chief of the Tachikawa bureau of The Tokyo Shimbun, has been writing a lot about the connections between the Sunagawa Struggle (and the 1959 Supreme Court case it spawned) and present moment, where many in Japan are troubled by both the expansion of American bases in Okinawa and what is seen as a more aggressive willingness to send the Self-Defense Forces into wars abroad.
Mr. Enomoto and I have kept in touch since this summer. On November 6, he published a short article on my dissertation project and, in particular, my belief that the Sunagawa Struggle was of global significance because it was a movement that was able to humble the U.S. military at a historical moment (the 1950s) when bases throughout Japan and Okinawa were undergoing massive expansion projects
Shimada Seisaku was a member of the Tachikawa city council from the late 1960s until the early 1990s. He was and continues to be an important fixture among the anti-base community in western Tokyo. Here he is after speaking about the significance of the Sunagawa Struggle at a gathering hosted by a group called Koganei Peace Action (こがねいピースアクション). It was great to meet the person whose work featured prominently in Chapter Four of my dissertation!
Hi my name is Mike Skidmore and I have a web site for Tachikawa Air Base with 1800 members, I just saw your post about the proposal and would like to hear more about this. are you just talking about the 1958 proposal or are they wanting to extend it again> I have thousands of tachi base photos , your welcome to come and join my group https://www.facebook.com/groups/377719578936686/ I also have many photo slide shows posted on youtube I can be reached at email@example.com my dad was stationed at Tachi 2 times from 1958-62 as the editor of the base newspaper and then from 1967-69 as the wing hisorian.
Hi Mike, thanks very much for getting touch. I’ve been a member of your FB page for a couple of years now and always enjoy seeing the posts from people who spent formative years of their lives there. I know you have a lot of members, spread all of the globe, so it’s completely understandable to that don’t remember, but you sent me a CD filled with some of the documents you’ve collected over the years. That CD was immensely helpful when I was writing my dissertation and will certainly also be important with my current manuscript, which is also focused on Tachikawa and the Sunagawa Struggle. Much of the project looks at the protests in the 1950s and 1960s, and while I’m still privy to current politics in the area, I haven’t heard of any plans by the JASDF to expand the runway these days. Maybe we could have a chat sometime to talk more about your dad and his work? I’d love to hear about his work as a historian on the base! I’ll send you note to your email, and thanks again for contacting me.