Perhaps part of the sensitivity of Okinawan citizens to the matter of human remains being relocated without identification or respect (as part of the foundation for yet another American military base) might be explained by the fact that this is not the first time.
In the late 1920s and mid 1930s, several academics from the University of Kyoto are said to have broken into Okinawan graves and removed human bones for research (presumably) to the Kyoto campus.
As is the case with zoological specimens generally, the bones are stored in drawers, with labels of particulars of provenance, and so on. There is no honour and no respect accorded to the Ryukyu dead in this treatment, according to descendants who are campaigning for repatriation of their ancestors' remains.
Here is an English-language interview sponsored by the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan. Here is a posting by the redoubtable Catharine Jane Fisher, whose blog link can be seen on the right-hand side of the page you are reading. Ms Fisher conducted an interview with Mr Tsuyoshi Tamagushiku, whose ancestors comprise part of the stolen remains.
I have often in my years seen a dynamic I call "Because we can" (A neuro-linguistic cousin to "The end justifies the means") operating in some of the worst travesties of cruel human behaviour toward those most vulnerable. In politics, examples are literally legion, but in scientific endeavour, there is just as much callous cruelty apparent, if we but look through a certain lens. In Canada, the experiments on nutrition (or rather, malnutrition) and Indigenous residential school children, as well as the horrific work of Dr Ewan Cameron are but two of the worst examples.
It is time for the bones to come home. It is time for a lot of things to change in Okinawa...