U.S. offers better life for overthrown groups
Having read Sen. Fred Hemmings' letter to the editor (Star Bulletin, May 13), I'd like to relate a different version for being fortunate to be living in Hawaii. My parents had to emigrate from Okinawa in 1906 to seek a better economic life. Plantation life was not easy but much better than the meager subsistence type of life in Okinawa.
The Meiji government of Japan annexed the independent Kingdom of the Ryukyus (Okinawa) in 1879 and the citizens of Okinawa were treated like second-class citizens. There was no means to oppose the occupation since Okinawa had no organized group to contest the will of the Tokyo government. Unlike the United States, there was no constitution to allow protesting of any abuse or unlawful order. Similar to the overthrow of the monarchy in 1893, Okinawa became the 47th prefecture of Japan while Hawaii became the territory of the United States.
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the native Hawaiians should feel blessed to be living under the U.S. Constitution and not under the kind of government that my parents endured during their childhood.
Seen at http://starbulletin.com/2005/05/19/editorial/letters.html