Critic of U.S. military in Japan directs a documentary about U.S. Marines

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A photo of Yukihisa Fujimoto director of the documentary One Shot One Kill
(Kyodo Photo).

As discussions continue regarding the fate of U.S. bases in Okinawa dominate the headlines in Japan, some may wonder whether or not the presence of the US in Japan hinders or helps the people of this Island nation. Some may debate if Japan’s Prime Minister Hatoyama is handling the situation properly, while other may wonder if the U.S. is simply bulling Japan to continue to allow the U.S. presence in Okinawa. A new documentary may give a bit more incite into the training and day to day life of enlisted men and women in the United States Marine Corps.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyftX4cJlnU

The documentary appropriately titled “One Shot One Kill,” was filmed at Parris Island, the U.S. Marine Corps training facility made famous in the film “Full Metal Jacket,” even though many of the scenes from Stanley Kubrick’s film where actually filmed in England. Director Yukihisa Fujimoto and crew travel to South Carolina to document the journey of new recruits as they arrive at Parris Island and almost immediately have their civilian life striped away in order to break them down and build them back up. Now screening in Tokyo, this film documents the process of orientation, physical training, live fire exercises and bayonet practice. Many new recruits struggle with following proper orders while being yelled at by drill instructors, but Fujimoto’s film shows the evolution as the young recruits become more seasoned junior marines.

(Courtesy of America Banzai blogspot)

Fujimoto, 56, is a critic of the fact that there are many U.S. military bases in Japan, says he initially got the ideal to do the film as he was observing young marines in Okinawa and came to the realization that he knew little about their background. Fujimoto, his producer Asako Kageyama and their crew began filming at Parris Island in January 2008 where roughly 500 new recruits enter every week and some 20,000 marines graduate each year. One recruit interviewed by Fujimoto stated the he wanted to become a Marine to help make the world a better place while hopefully bringing peace to places currently at war.

(Courtesy of America Banzai blogspot)

Original Story (The Japan Times Online)
America Banzai Blogspot
Full Metal Jacket (Internet Movie Database)

I work in post production sound for film and television during the day. But by night I blog with my main man Zurui, DJ, produce electronic music and sleep if I can fit it into my schedule.

5 Comments

  1. The USA millitary is in Japan (read ‘the whole of Asia’) for reasons of it’s own best interest. Naturally it has been in the interest of maintaining all bases to over-state the aparrent threat posed by China and NK.

    The very moment USA millitary got itself involved in the business of Korea they were urging Japan to form an armed force large enough to help fight on the peninsula. Japan wisely sought to distance itself from this situation.

    It is still using cold war rhetoric as a means to justify it’s presence. The sad truth may be that as the world’s only super power, and as a counrty that for at least a century now, has been agressively exporting it’s own vision of the world in the name of democracy and peace, they can do what ever they so choose.

    The very notion that Japan, Korea, UK, France or any other country has an equal partnership with the USA is an insulting joke.

    The fact that they now have a leader whom many regard as charismatic make me fearful. It’s quite a combination: charisma and aggression.

    Lord help us all.

    And, no, I wouldn’t rather see Japan overrun by the Soviets, Chinese or whichever ‘evil’ you can pull out of the hat; it’s more that I don’t see the USA as anybodies saviour and certainly cannot see the world as a safer place with the USA at the helm.

  2. I live in Germany which has probably the biggest US military presence of any foreign country (there are roughly 70,000 troops in Japan, and when I first arrived in Kaiserslautern there where almost that same amount… in just one German city). They’ve started to close bases and reduce size, but only recently. I’ve also lived in Japan for years, with 2 being in Okinawa. I completely understand the frustrations of the Okinawans, the people who live there, as they are stuck between a gov’t that sometimes neglects them and a foreign military that can’t control their loud rowdy personnel.

    But…

    Critics keep forgetting the most important piece of information here: the local governments WANT the US military there. Otherwise, they’d be out. No questions asked. I don’t know if you guys know, but US occupation of Japan and Germany ended about 50 years ago. Here’s a piece of info you don’t know: Japan and Germany save MILLIONS of dollars every year on defense spending because of the US bases in their country. Their constitution prohibits their military from getting too bit, but believe me if we were to pull out of Germany and Japan right now their defense budget would increase 1000%. They’d be naked against neighboring countries that have not forgotten the atrocities of WWII. Not only that, they MAKE millions of dollars also. Bases aren’t free. Again, the occupation ended 50 years ago. The US pays hundreds of millions of dollars to the local gov’ts. These bases are here because the Japanese government wants them here. Protection against China and N.Korea. Economy boost. Nostalgia from the past? Who knows why. Instead of protesting outside the bases, the locals should picket their local gov’t more.

    Also on a side note, Germans have more US military that Japan but a fraction of the problems. Last time a soldier acted up off base (yes there are mostly soldiers here, not sailors or airman) the German Polizei shot the guy. They have zero tolerance for monkey business. And it’s not just the police, but normal citizens who stand up to the few idiots who can’t behave themselves off base. I’ve lived in Japan and know how passive the average Japanese can be, but maybe some “tough love” is just the right remedy to get the Marines straight when they go off base. Come on, where are all the macho Japanese guys that aren’t going to take any crap from foreigners off base? 😛

    Anyway just my 2 cents.

  3. to mark: it doesn’t really matter who the “superpower” is. whether it is america, or if china or india become the superpower. people will find things to not like about them. case in point.

    just like the song viva la vida by cold play.

    “I used to rule the world………….Oh, who would ever want to be king?”

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