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Okinawans are strongly criticizing a video published by Vice about poverty in Okinawa.
"Vice just came out with a video about poverty in Okinawa, and it's complete trash. It promotes stereotypes about Okinawans while ignoring the root cause of its poverty which is colonialism by Japan and the US. I hate that it got so many likes. This sucks."
Uchinanchu (Indigenous Okinawans) make up the vast majority of Okinawa's 1.4 million people, which includes tens of thousands of U.S. military personnel and their families.
Western and Japanese mainstream media has an extensive history of misrepresenting Okinawa, while speaking for and over the voices of Okinawans. This, of course, is a major human rights violation on the part of both the U.S. and Japan, who are illegally occupying the Ryukyu Islands against the will of Ryukyuans.
"Around 95% of the articles and videos published in Western mainstream media about Okinawa are terrible," said Rob Kajiwara, president of the Peace For Okinawa Coalition. "They use a very U.S. and Japan-centric view, which they impose onto Ryukyuans / Okinawans. They have little-to-no understanding of Ryukyuan language, culture, history, values, identity, or views. This is why most Ryukyuans don't bother with Western media."
Ryukyuans are recognized by the United Nations as the Indigenous peoples of the Ryukyu Islands. The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People guarantees Ryukyuans the right to "establish their own media in their own languages and to have access to all forms of non-indigenous media without discrimination."
The Peace For Okinawa Coalition urges the international community to take immediate action to ensure the rights of Ryukyuans / Okinawans are protected from U.S. and Japanese aggression.
Vice has a history of accepting payment from governments in exchange for promoting propaganda: