CODEPINK & Women for Peace – 2016-05-25 01:00:33
ACTION ALERT: Obama: Meet with Governor Onaga of Okinawa
(May 24, 2016) — Crimes against Okinawans by US military personnel — including sexual crimes and the recent murder of a young woman â€” and damage caused to the environment by the presence of US military bases have been occurring for over 70 years.
The US has had a presence in Okinawa since the end of WWII and currently 33 US military facilities and about 28,000 US military personnel remain on the island.
CODEPINKers in Japan, joined by Ann Wright, have protested the continuing US military occupation of Okinawa; CODEPINK in DC has also recently held an action against the construction of a new base there.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hopes to use Henoko Bay, on the northeastern shore of Okinawa, to build a massive US Marines base and a military port. Henoko, home to vibrant coral reefs, is filled with bio-diversity and is the home habitat for the endangered dugong, a cousin to the manatees.
The plan to close Futenma Air Base, which is located in densely populated area in exchange for the US base in Henoko, has been delayed until the year 2025. According to General Robert B. Neller, commandant of the Marine Corps, the delays were “partly due to demonstrators and a lack of support by the government of Okinawa.”
Between 70-90% of Okinawans oppose the US military bases on the island. For many years, Okinawans have non-violently protested to end the military colonization imposed on them.
From entering live-fire military exercise zones to forming human chains around military bases, they have made clear that the continual growth of militarization by both the Japanese and US governments is harmful, unjust, and must be stopped.
President Obama’s statement that he would not use the opportunity of his visit to Hiroshima to apologize for the atomic bombing of Japan is deeply upsetting.
However, it is not too late to encourage him to honor the request of Governor Onaga to meet with him in person to talk about the destructive US bases in Okinawa.
CODEPINK Japan has been active for about a decade, working for peace by protesting the re-militarization of the Japanese constitution; by attending international women’s peace conferences; through participating in International Women’s Day celebrations; by visiting the CODEPINK house in Washington, DC, and many other actions.
We honor their dedication. See below for reactions to Obama’s visit from our CODEPINK Japanese sisters and check out our new Stop Military Bases campaign page!
Alice, Janet, and your CODEPINK Team
CODEPINKers in Japan Speak their Hearts to Obama
No More Wars
Alice / CODEPINK Intern
My mother is from a small island south of mainland Okinawa called Miyako-jima. Though both Okinawa and Miyako are part of the Ryukyuan chain of islands, they are distinct from one another as are the other islands in the Ryukyuan chain in many ways. Okinawa was once an island of peace.
Today many people still keep the music, dance and culture alive in Okinawa despite the colonization and dark, bloody history they have been through. Although I was born in Tokyo and raised in Seattle, I try to keep my Okinawan roots alive. It is important to me to spread and learn about peace and justice around the world and I hope that one day Japan and specifically Okinawa will be peaceful again and freed from militarization.
I want to share with you these messages we received from CODEPINK Japan before Obama’s visit to Hiroshima in May 2016.
No Nukes, No Arms
Akiko Oguchi / CODEPINK Osaka
Many people said that there has been no apology so it is hard to forgive for Japanese survivors and Korean survivors and others. But l believe that the Japanese Government did not apologize to other Asian people about the war crimes they have committed during World War II.
I wish to ask Obama to listen to the survivors’ voices, and to step out for a nuclear ban treaty. In Japan, many atomic bomb’s victims have gone. But their wish is remaining in my heart. I have strong desire for no war and a non-nuclear world. I love peace and justice.
No More Nuclear Testings in the Pacific and Elsewhere in the World
Narumi Tomida / Kyoto, Japan
Dear Mr. President,
Thank you sincerely for your visit to Hiroshima.
There, I would like you to visit Takara Building. Ten American POWs were killed there by the atomic bomb. Please pray for them and know that that bomb killed those who should be protected by it. Nuclear weapons kill all people, regardless of whether they are enemies or friends.
After returning to America, please tell this fact to all children and teach them that all nuclear weapons should be removed from the USA and the world, so that they will live in peace in their future.
I desire that America will become a country to lead the movement of changing this planet to the nukes-free and more peaceful one.
Remember Pearl Harbor & Remember Hiroshima & Nagasaki
Hisae Ogawa / CODEPINK Osaka
Dear sisters and friends in the US,
Thank you for sending the President of USA, Mr. Obama, to Hiroshima. Let him work for the nuclear abolition and nuclear free world in his lifetime.
We, the peace loving people in Japan, are proud of our peace Constitution. The Article 9 of the Constitution says, “The Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation”
Article 9 is at risk now, for the Japanese government at present is forcing us to accept a new unconstitutional ‘war legislation’. Article 9 is a world treasure. Help us to keep Article 9 intact.
And Let us share the cries and join hands for:
“No more nuclear power plants (accidents)”
“No military occupation of our lands”