Thursday, January 21, 2010

US for Okinawa

US for Okinawa
Peace Action Network


Thank you for those who joined us for the first "US for OKINAWA" event at Yoyogi park on January 31st

ピースアクション:US for Okinawa

January 31, 2010 US for OKINAWA statement

The members of the peace action network, US for OKINAWA, assembled on January 31st to express our concern about the enormous burden that U.S. military bases are placing on Okinawa. Already, U.S. military facilities occupy nearly 20% of Okinawa Island, and even the U.S. and Japanese governments agree that Futenma Air Base poses a great safety risk to nearby residents and agree it should be closed. However, we are appalled that closing Futenma is contingent upon constructing new military facilities in Henoko, another part of Okinawa Island. A majority of local residents in Henoko are strongly opposed to this new construction, and we can understand why. It would simply shift the problems of contamination, noise pollution, and safety hazards from one part of Okinawa to another, and would also destroy much of the fragile ecoystem of Oura Bay. This will likely lead to the extinction of the dugong from Japan, as well as yet again deny Okinawans access to part of their traditional land and water.

It's time for the U.S. to engage more with the rest of the world through diplomatic, economic, and cultural ties rather than military means, and to stop adding to its collection of 1,000 military bases around the world. And it's time for the Japanese government to say loud and clear: “Shut down Futenma” and “No more new military construction in Okinawa.”

Emilie McGlone

Rose Welsch

New Network Formed to Oppose Further Foreign Military Base Expansion in Okinawa

January 25, 2010

US for OKINAWA is a new peace action network based in Tokyo that was recently formed by U.S., Japanese, Canadian, New Zealand, Australian, Welsh, Mexican and other citizens living in Japan who are concerned about Okinawa. A deliberate double entendre, US may be read both as "us" (you, me, everyone), as well as U.S. (reflecting the proactive stance of Americans in Japan who support a base-free Okinawa).

US for OKINAWA was organized out of shared concern regarding the danger that the U.S. Futenma Air Base poses to the people of Okinawa, as well as the pressure exerted by the U.S. on the new Japanese administration to construct a replacement facility for the base in Henoko, an environmentally fragile area on the eastern part of the island. If carried out, this construction would likely spell the extinction of the endangered dugong (cousin to the Florida manatee) and simply shift the problems of contamination, air pollution, safety hazards and crime associated with Futenma to another part of Okinawa.

US for OKINAWA is committed to forming liaisons with Okinawan and Japanese peace groups, whom we join in strong opposition to these bases for the hardships they impose upon Okinawan residents and the environmental damage they cause. Okinawa makes up only .6% of Japan's territory but “hosts” 75% of all US military bases in the country under treaties that were negotiated by Tokyo and Washington, without input from the Okinawan people. The island already shoulders a disproportionate military burden, and US for OKINAWA applauds Prime Minister Hatoyama for having the integrity to call for a halt to new base construction in Henoko. The Obama administration’s demand that Prime Minister Hatoyama submit to its wishes or risk jeapordizing US-Japan relations is aggressive action that shows complete disregard for the right to peace and self-determination of the Okinawan people, and is extremely unbecoming of a Nobel Peace Prize recipient.

US for OKINAWA strongly believes that continued friendly relations between Japan and the U.S. should not depend on the construction of yet another base in Okinawa, and calls upon President Obama to return Futenma to the Okinawan people, and to desist from pushing for further unwanted military expansion.

US for OKINAWA is rapidly growing and welcomes people of any
nationality to join its network. To join the network or receive more information, write to

For more information, contact:
Emilie McGlone at 080-12957612 or email to

Press Release


US for OKINAWA』は、在沖米軍基地の縮小と撤廃を求める新しいネットワークです。ここには日本に住み、沖縄のことを気にかけるアメリカ人、日本人、カナダ人、ニュージーランド人、オーストラリア人、ウェールズ人、メキシコ人とその他の市民が集まり、都内を中心に活動を始めています。(USは“私たち”という意味ですが、同時にここでは“基地のない沖縄を目指す日本在住のアメリカ人たち”を意味しています。)

 US for OKINAWA』は、米軍基地・普天間基地が沖縄の人々に与える危険性と、アメリカ政府が日本の新政府に対して貴重な自然環境が残る辺野古への移転を強く要請していることへの共通の懸念から組織されました。辺野古基地建設はジュゴンの絶滅を招くばかりか、汚染・騒音公害・安全性の問題や(米軍兵による)犯罪をただ県内の別の地域に移動するだけになります。

 US for OKINAWA』は、基地反対運動を進める沖縄と日本の平和団体との連携を築くことに専心しています。米軍基地の存在は沖縄の人々に課す苦難であり、他国の罪のない人々に暴力や不安定な状態を強要すること(ベトナム戦争、最近ではイラク・アフガニスタンでの戦争)につながります。最後に、私たちは世界に1000以上ある外国軍基地の廃止と持続可能な経済を求めるthe International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases (NO Bases)にも賛同します。

 沖縄県は日本国土の0.6%にすぎませんが、在日米軍基地の75%がこの沖縄にあります。日米間の協定によるものですが、沖縄の人々の声は全く反映されず、これまで過剰な軍事基地負担に苦しんでいます。『US for OKINAWA』は、日本とアメリカが友好的な関係を続けていくためにも、沖縄に新たな基地をつくるのではなく、オバマ大統領に普天間基地を沖縄から撤去するよう、また不本意な軍事拡大を思いとどまるよう訴えます。




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OKINAWA website