Messages from Various People from All Over the World!
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Hi. My name is Leonardo and I am an American. I was in Okinawa last week for the first time and I was stunned by the island's natural beauty. The palm trees and beautiful beaches are breathtaking. I remember looking at some native plant life and enjoying the tranquilty of my surroundings when, all of sudden, an ear-piercing sound rips through the sky. "Jesus Christ! Was that the sound of the end of the world?" I said to wife. She replies, "No that was an American fighter."It's a shame that Okinawan's have to put up with American military bases. When I was in Naha, a man handed me a pamphlet stating that another American base is being built in Northern Okinawa. I am behind your movement to remove American Military bases from Okinawan soil. I currently live in Japan and if you need any support or help please feel free to e-mail.Thank you and good luck,Leonardo
firstly thank you so much for your reply, i hope i maybe of some use to you
when i arrive in Okinawa, i have managed to raise a lot of money for the
British charity "Save The Children" fund, our Japanese office is in Osaka.
so i am quite good at "making people aware" of situations all around the
world. I would be to happy to help you in anyway i can, as i too would like
to see Okinawa returned to Okinawa COMPLETELY!! as at the moment, people
over here in Europe still think Okinawa is another American State, just like
Hawaii, or Guam. This is because any Europeans that visit Okinawa, see so
many Americans, that they come back from there trip and tell there friends
that Okinawa is full of Americans!!! consequently this could be costing you
money in lost tourism, as of coarse,people want to visit Okinawa, not
America!! Okinawa also has a reputation of being sometimes a dangerous place
to visit, due the conflict between the U.S troops and Okinawans, especially
after the case of the Rape of the 12 year old girl back in 1996, by three
U.S marines, they received only 6 years each,for this disgusting crime,
indeed if the same crime had been committed by three Okinawan troops over in
America, they would have received something like a 15-20 year sentence each.
your government were far too light with these sentences, if it were up to
me, i would have put all three of those bastards in the electric chair, just
like they do in Texas!!!!!! and left the power full on until the next day,
just to make sure!!!! seriously.
So, i think maybe one of the best way is to prove to your government and the
U.S government, that by having such a large U.S presence in Okinawa, you are
restricting the amount of tourists you get every year, due the fact people
are afraid to visit you beautiful island, and people also come away and tell
there friends that its like a "little America" all this added together must
surely cost you in lost tourism, and lost tourism is lost money!! i'll give
you an example of "lost tourism" here in England, we currently have a
terrible situation regarding infected farm animals, called foot and mouth
disease, we have now had this disease in our country for 8 weeks, we are in
a crisis here not only because of the disease, but due to the lack of
tourists that are coming to the U.K due to the fact visitors are staying
away, actually it is of coarse only the countryside that tourists have been
told to stay away from, not because its dangerous for Humans, as "foot and
mouth" disease has no effect on humans, our government is just worried if
people walk around in the countryside, then it may get transmitted via there
shoe's etc to built up areas. well its taken just 8 weeks for the whole
world to hear this storey, but unfortunately rumours spread fast, faster
even than this disease!! now people from all over the world are cancelling
there trips to the U.K as they are afraid to come here, we have lost
millions of pounds due to this crisis, surely you must also loose billions
of yen due to your crisis ( American troops! ) also. I have to say, of
coarse i am not a racist, i just think that these huge U.S base's are simply
not required, and seem to be there for "fun" only. it is when human,and
Okinawan respect,is abused,and the troops cause trouble,that really sickens
me very badly. I really don't understand why they don't move all troops to
Guam or Hawaii, if they really must be in that area at all!!!!
talk to you soon,
all the best,
Dear friends in solidarity,
My name is Howard Caro-López from San Juan, Puerto Rico. I write this message to express my solidarity with the people in Okinawa in their struggle against militarism and colonialsim. As a Puerto Rican, my life has been marked by the imposition of American colonial rule over our island and people. To this day we are still subject to the will and rule of US political and military rule, with little forum in which to defend our rights as a people. No greater instance epitomizes our subordination to the U.S. than their shamless use of the island of Vieques as a military training ground. Naval military exercises have accounted not only for severe environmental degradation and alarming increases in the rates of cancer among residents of the island, but most recently, to the tragic loss of one civilian individual at the hands of a stray bomb in a military exercise. Each time I receive news of an incident with the U.S. Navy and the people of Okinanwa, it echoes of the problem faced by our people in Vieques, Puerto Rico. Therefore, I call on everyone who bears witness to this tragic reality to stand united against the unjust and irresponsible actions of the United States overseas, and express my commitment to work towards achieving peace and justice for the people of Okinawa, Vieques, Korea, Hawai'i and all areas who are victims of the same injustices. It is my sincere hope that our efforts in solidarity will help to end this tragedy and move closer towards a world free of militarism and colonial exploitation.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
I was stationed on Okinawa from '91-94, I really enjoyed your country and hope to re-visit someday. I totally understand your feelings of wanting the US Military gone. I hope that someday your wish will come true. I am wishing you luck and peace for the future.
My uncle was in the Bataan Death March in WWII. It is sad that the Japanese island has to pay for the sins of their fathers but, that is a fact of life. Okinawa should be an American colony due to the blood paid for the island. If the Japanese would have won the war History would be different. We would be in a second DARK age. Ask the Chinese or Koreans how they feel about the Japanese and why. Much has been said about Germany and the atrocities committed there. But the stats speak for themselves in regard to prison camps. Japanese Prison camp deaths: American 1 in 4, British 2 of 4, others 4 of 5. German Prison camp deaths: American 1 in 15, British 1 in 10. The Japanese were brutal and have not paid the war reparations that Germany has paid. In fact many former Japanese officers became rich after the war.
It is shameful that the Japanese would cry foul and call it colonialism.
Dear friends of the redcard movement and those who are not!
During my stay in Okinawa I was often asked if I can compare the situation at Okinawa and that one of Germany. Well, I have to confess that I don't know much about it, but I can tell you my own experiences, things I've heard about and my thoughts.
I was born in former East Germany in 1975. 8 years later my family moved to Frankfurt/Main in West Germany and one year later to Berlin-West.
At first we have to notice that the conditions in Germany were completely different. After World War II Germany was separated into 4 zones: a Russian zone, an American zone, a British and a French zone or sectors as we said. Berlin itself was also separated into these 4 sectors. The allies came and stayed as occupying powers. Until the reunification it was the time of the so called "Cold War", a time of subliminal aggression and mistrust. In cause of that situation the occupation forces became "friends" within the scope of a defensive alliance.
When I came to Okinawa and learned about things happening there, the high rate of criminality done by U.S. military personel, I couldn't believe. I knew the Russians, British, American and French military since I was born, but it seems as if they were completely different from soldiers in Asia. As I know, things like that didn't occur in Germany on a large scale. News about crime done by military personal were rare as I remember, although we have to say that also a single crime is one too much!
What was different? I just can guess. Maybe strict control of the military personal? I do not know why, but I think it was unthinkable that U.S. military personal could behave the way they're doing in Asian countries. I guess (that's my opinion) that it has to do with a kind of racism against Asians. I'm sure that many Americans think about Asians as submissive, some kind of children who need parental guidance. The differences of culture and mentality are used as an instrument to enforce the aims of the American AND of the Japanese Government. I think that the key to a base-free Okinawa is the Japanese Government which itself treats Okinawans in a discriminating way.
This discrimination I couldn't see in Germany (or it was hidden very well). Such a behaviour was impossible here, I think. I never heard about peace-groups for the eradication of crime by soldiers. German peace groups mainly fought against nuclear weapons and pollution caused by the bases.
Well, and after reunification? They're gone! Russians, French, British and American military. Yes, there are still bases in West Germany, but these are part of the NATO.
My question is:
The Cold War ended, so why are they staying in Korea, Okinawa and other places in the Pacific area, these American troops?
Some are saying: "Because of the Chinese and North Koreans." I think that's bullshit! (Sorry) The South Korean Army is strong enough to handle the case of an attack. But what are we talking about? There is a dialogue between North and South Korea. They are talking with each other, they are negotiating! Who is talking about the possibility of war? The Koreans? I don't think so. And China? The Chinese open their country more and more, we have multilateral cooperation in economy. Who's talking about the possibilioty of war? Some may ask: "And Taiwan?" What about Taiwan? Also Taiwan started negotiations or some kind of friendly contact to China.
I do not want to deny that severe problems exist (e.g. human rights). And I don't want to say that the rest of the world should forget these problems. I'm just asking why there is one country thinking that it is not possible to come to a solution without its permanent interference. Do these people really believe that peace is only possible if every eventual opponent (I don't say enemy!) faces annihilation?
Hey, arms industry rules the world. It's so easy, isn't it?
These days you can read much about the NMD-program. Will the arms race of the Cold War starts again? What for???
Here I just tell you what I am thinking. There are many things I do not know and maybe I'm wrong in some of my thoughts, but deep in my heart - naive or not - I know that something went wrong in our world. And I don't want to accept that mankind is stupid enough not to search for better ways to a peaceful world.
I also want to say that I do not want to generalize. When I talk about The Americans or The Japnese or whoever I don't mean every American or every Chinese or every Korean... you know what I mean. I don't want to offend somebody, maybe I want to provoke a little bit ;-), but in fact I'm just asking.
If you want to discuss or share your own thoughts with me, write to:
Yours Gesine ;-)
Recognize that what follows is the pure quill !! The United States of American won the war with Japan and Japan signed an Unconditional Surrender. Understand what Unconditional means. Under the Cairo Accords of 1943 the Ryukyu Islands were taken from Japan after Japan signed the Unconditional Surrender in 1945 and the Ryukyuan people were then recognized as the Government of the Ryukyu Islands. After the war with Japan ended with an Unconditional Surrender and the Ryukyu Islands were returned to the Government of the Ryukyu Islands it was absolutely recognized the Ryukyuan people suffered the loss of over 240,000 persons and were absolutely destitute and definitely needed help in order to exist. The land that was returned to them was completely devastated. It is recognized the Franklin Delano Roosevelt before his death on April 12 1945 had already contacted Chiang Kai-shek (November 22/26 1943) and inquired whether China would be amenable to taking on the support of the Ryukyu Islands. Kai-shek begged off as he pled he wasn't financially able at that time. Roosevelt died 124 days before the Unconditional Surrender and thus it became Truman's problem as to how to support the liberated Ryukyuans and I suggest that an occupational agreement was worked out to put the military into the Ryukyu Islands to shepherd the Ryukyuans to recovery. I further suggest that Supreme Commander Douglas Mac Arthur was doing his best to bring about the recovery, but his relationship with President Truman was bumpy at best and Truman sent only a group of stateside rejects out to the Ryukyu Islands and these military men were not mentally equipped to cope with this entirely new problem. It was further confused when Truman, through Executive Order gave first class citizenship to minorities and these minorities made the military part of their own recovery agenda. We had the blind leading the blind. Many of us came to the Ryukyus to help in the recovery, but we not only had to fight with greedy Japanese that came down to try to get into the public trough, but we also had to fight with inept military officials who had only their own priorities to salve. When one wanted to contact the military leadership, they were found in their clubs, be they their dinner clubs, their golf clubs or their yacht clubs; these people were living high on the hog and to hell with the Ryukyuan. Frankly, I wanted to whip their asses, but as you know this only gets one put in jail. We could resort to the courts and I did, but after five years of fighting, you realize you were just playing their game. You could resort to calling out your Senators or Representatives, but when they came out they were wined and dined and they were told that we who were fighting for the Ryukyuan were troublemakers. They filled their bellies and rush back to Washington, D.C. The State Department came out and flung such phrases as "Residual Sovereignty" around, but this meant nothing and then it was "Reversion" all of which is in conflict with Unconditional Surrender, but who in the hell cares, especially when it happens 8000 miles away from their constituency. Justification came in the form of interjection in two civil wars; one in Korea and another in Vietnam. The years sped by and today we've been fighting the battle for 56 years and Japan is back in the saddle and I ask you - who won World War Two? And today the Japanese openly brag the Emperor of Japan owns every foot of the beaches of the Ryukyu Islands. And should they discover oil in the China Sea, who will our military be fighting to assure the "right" side gets the drilling rights???? Yes, that was me ( Last December 2000) in my red shirt that was out on Highway 58 suggesting that we remove our forces from Okinawa and give these islands back to the Ryukyuan people. And yes, that was me that has been telling you that our country has already built a complete base for our military on our own islands at Saipan, Tinian, Rota and Guam. And yes, the Chinese now are using this base as a textile operation complete with young girls who it is said, sew, when aren't doing something else. A copy of this letter will be afforded to our incoming President and then I will sit back and see what I will see.
In November of the year 2000 I went to Okinawa to see for myself what is going on as to our acceptance by the Ryukyuan people. Frankly I didn't believe the stories that generally accompany the explanations reference the so called reversion theoretically based on residual sovereignty. It is difficult to "test the waters" when the newspapers and magazines written in English, no longer exist, or if they do it is only exemplified by the old time "emasculated" THIS WEEK On Okinawa and the new international GNN tabloid called Gateway Network News. I began my visit with a walking trip throughout Okinawa City to include Gate 2 of Kadena Air Base where I walked the thoroughly deserted area called Clinton Square. I saw the Ryukyuan Pine he ostensibly planted and I took pictures of the politically positive Shi Shi Lion complete with four knuckles on his feet (Seems the Chinese Lions have five toes and the Ryukyuans are allowed four toes and the Japanese shall have only three toes.) and the whole of the area was paved with beautifully sawed coral slabs. It is all summed up with a very proper black, polished marble marker with the title reading OKINAWA FRIENDSHIP PLAZA and signed by the Okinawa City Mayor and the Commander of the 18th wing of the USAF and dated 23 July 2000. I then went north to the area just a little south of Nago where the G8 Summit 2000 was held and where Clinton tried to add to his legacy. Again what one saw was the finest craftsmanship that exists today and where the use of sawn coral and the marriage of red tile and bone-white concrete has made this meeting spot the greatest collection of Ryukyuan buildings in a blended setting of the aquamarine blue waters of the China Sea. It is breath-taking. I am sure you have already heard this, but when Premier Mori of Japan met President Clinton of the USA, Mori blurted out "who are you?" (When he meant, how are you?) and Clinton replied, "I'm Hillary's husband" - to which Mori said, "me too." This conversation is how confusion is born when neither politico understands each other's language. The above took the better part of the day and I went back to our house and turned on the TV to hear Armed Forces Radio and Television Station (AFRTS) announce that "Anyone in the military that demeans any Superior Officer is subject to a court-martial and the penalty can and would be very heavy. (Obviously today's soldier is conservative and possibly a Republican.) As a civilian I can tell you that our President is not Mr. Popularity Tomorrow, I'll relate my activities with the Red Card Movement
We wish a base-free Okinawa
" Santa is coming to town with peace: do we still need U.S. military bases?"
" It's Christmas and yet we still hear the fighter jets flying over our dinner table."
Dear Red Card Movement: Please accept this message for your sign board on the September 23 day of International Movement: The US military presence in the Asia-Pacific region does not increase security. U.S. military bases in Okinawa, Puerto Rico, the Republic of Korea, Hawaii as well as the Visiting Forces Agreement in the Philippines are destabilizing elements, particularly for the communities surrounding the bases. Environmental degradation is severe. Crimes against women are higher. The bases are wartime targets, endangering the lives of civilians around them. In too many cases, the US government is deaf to the pleas of local communities to clean up the bases, to control the soldiers, to stop practice flights and practice bombing. While US bases decrease the security of communities in all places where they exist, they are particularly harmful in communities that have been colonized or occupied for the purpose of expanding US interests. President Clinton has just given the metaphorical promise to "reduce the footprint" of the US military in Okinawa. This joint international day of action demands that the US military reduce its presence not just in Okinawa, but everywhere. In Okinawa. In the Republic of Korea. In Guam. In Hawai'i. In Puerto Rico. In the Philipines. Around the world! Karin Lee/John Feffer Tokyo, Japan
I do not live in Okinawa. I live in Yokohama in Kanagawa prefecture. I am Japanese (not Japanese-American) but I am an English teacher. I am twenty seven years old. I cannot accept American or any foreign military bases anywhere in Japan because I THINK they hurt Japan financially, culturally, and morally more than they help Japan. Since there is an Article 9 of the Constitution, it may be difficult to kick them out. It may be because since Japanese politicians are not stupid, but as a sad tradition, they bend to foreign strength, foreign diplomacy and foreign (especially American) arrogance. I have some right-wing friends but even some of them say that if Kenpo 9jyo Article 9 of the Constitution were abolishied, it would be too dangerous because the dirty Americans would find some way to brain-wash the world with their powerful and convincing forms of mass communication, and give an apperantly good reason to attack our country. I think that one big thing that our people and and our country is lacking/missing is our previous sense of identity. As long as we have our once powerful nation so-called "protected" by the world infamous American armed forces, we can NEVER hope to regain the identity and real pride that we had that was supported by our real pride, identity and love for our nation. Since we don't have enough of these things, words like Aikoku patriotism and Kokusui ultranationalism are unfortunately often considered tabboo. I'm sure that most American military men who are not thinking about the welfare of Japan. They are here because of orders or requests. Even though Japan is supposed to be paying for it, I'm sure that most American military men aren't thinking of the welfare of Japan. They shouldn't have to be, though. Because they don't belong here in the first place. Even though many Americans may think and convince themselves that they are helping us Japanese by being here and protecting us from Asians who supposedly have grudges against us about World War II. How has all of the money we've spent on them helped us? Where are they when unexploded bombs are found on Japanese soil@years after the war? Since they are nowhere but on base or taking advantage of local women, I think they have no value. If Japan abolishes Article 9 of the Constitution and we are attacked, won't our decendants have more respect for our country and culture if we fought by ourselves? If Japan must have American army bases, I think that Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu must take some responsibility by allowing some of the American bases on their own islands. If ther are, more governors and Prime Minister Mori will see how troublesome they are to our nation and not only to far away Okinawa. I am sorry that our poeple on the major islands can only watch Okinawa.
Those bases where paid for in americian blood, bought from a brutial Japanese army,ask the chinese or koreas or the pow's left over from the Baatan death march. Ask older Okinawians about the wonderful Japanese in WW II. You people or fools.The Japanese could careless about the Okinawians. With out the bases your just a drain on the Japanese system. That is the only purpose you serve for them. A tourist destinatian? I don't think so. Great reef nothing else. Produce What ? cheaper than who. Get real get a life, and enjoy the freedon those bases provide you. Just over the horizion is the north Koreans and Red china, think you would like the better. You fought a war you lost get over it.H.L.D. Futima, Harrison Drake
Jean-Jacques Rousseau revisited: Okinawans are not "born free" and "everywhere in chains."
It is my sincere hope that the anti-military base movement will maintain its resolve in disseminating its messages and goals. Although the Okinawan issue has only appeared in the international media during major events like the G8 Summit or the 1995 rape incident, the anti-military base movement must not lose its momentum that has been gained from these events.
Some people who have not lived in Okinawa have been led to believe that the anti-military base protests were prominent only because of the G8 Summit. There is no doubt that protestors have such an opportunity to enliven their movements, however, it is wrong to assume that the fight for Okinawan freedom was just a flash in the pan. Every summer I have spent in Okinawa has been marked by frequent anti-military base protests-from the small farming town of Itoman to the lively streets of Naha. Protests opposing the U.S. military bases happen on a daily basis. The interaction is constant: from a baby being abruptly waken by the fighter jet noise to an old man voluntarily making a big banner for such causes of the Red Card Movement. Okinawans see, hear, and feel the military presence every single day. Despite the trouble caused by constant protest, these movements will go on-and-on until the U.S. bases are gone.
But what are the chances for Okinawa to be free from U.S. military bases? Two years ago, as a young international affairs major who has been often identified as a "realist," I would have said that the Okinawans are weak, diminutive, powerless, and that the unfortunate Okinawa must follow the "power" decree: "The strong do what they have the power to do, and the weak accept what they have to accept." Indeed, in my mind, the Okinawans were the Melians in Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War, trying to convey that power does not define justice in the sense that might does not make right.
I used to proudly present the trite rhetoric that tries to justify the U.S. military base presence: the tension in Korean peninsula; the shaky China-Taiwan relations; the maintenance of balance of power in Asia; the containment of instability and conflict in the region; and the spillover effects of the political stability to the economic realm. In spite of the fact that I garnerd 'A's on numerous papers for delineating justification for U.S. foreign policies, I failed to see that a status quo, no matter how it is justified, should not automatically be met with acceptance.
If one examines the other side of the coin, there are traces of both American and Japanese chauvinism, profligacy, mendacity, injustice, and obsolete policies. The former governor of Okinawa, Masahide Ota, and visible scholars like Koji Taira and Chalmers Johnson have revealed such points extensively, so there is not much use in incorporating what they have said or written here. However, it is critical to point out again that the Cold War with Russia is over and that the costs of maintaining U.S. military bases in Okinawa, as measured by the sacrifices Okinawans have made and the overall importance of Okinawa as a "strategic" military point, weigh far greater than the benefits.
Perhaps one can easily dismiss my point of view by simply labeling as "biased" because of my Okinawan identity. I had my flirtation with the greener U.S. military bases (or should I say "dark side") as I was attending a Department of Defense high school. I benefited greatly from the presence of U.S. military bases in Okinawa. Most notably, I learned how to speak and write English there. I used to be annoyed by the anti-military base protests just like my American friends. I thought the Okinawans protesting outside the bases with the "human chain" had brains as small as the island. Even before I converted to an anti-military base protestor, some of the American teachers at my high school were very understanding and supportive of the Okinawan protestors, even questioning their very own status and role in Okinawa. These so-called "on-base" people knew about the Okinawan history, politics, and economics far more than I did at the time. They were not Okinawan affairs experts and yet they felt sympathic for the Okinawans. It only takes a little effort to understand the situation in Okinawa. For this reason, I earnestly ask for support to voice out the anti-U.S. military movements from U.S. military base personel, the American public, and the Okinawan youth.
There will always be those that cannot rest their faith in the fountain of change. Not surprisingly, they were the ones that were saying that the Berlin Wall would never fall. Being blindfolded to the power of individual humans in the unfolding of international history is utterly unwise; see the changes and why they have happened. Ideas matter. People count. The anti-military base movement in Okinawa is an idea whose time has come, put forward by people who believe that peace is more than the absence of war. Motivated by the notion of justice, these protestors are seeking to accomplish the mission impossible of the year 2000.
The media extravaganza is over, but the fight for Okinawan freedom will proceed.
The wind is against us but the storm of morality is the force that will help us succeed.
(From the Student in the USA)
I've checked the HP and I must admit that, though there are stillsome imperfections and gaps, it is already a significant stepforward towards guaranteeing an open and comprehensive publicinformation campaign about Okinawa.
Focus on the Global South (FOCUS)
Web Page http://www.focusweb.org
Here is a good source of information / reviews on recent publications about Okinawa:
Before the Meiji Restoration (1868) the island of Hokkaido (Then knownas Ezo.) was considered a foreign country. The Tokugawa governmententrusted diplomatic and economic relations with Ezo to the MatsumaeClan (Whose domain was in the northern-most part of of the island ofHonshu.)In 1869 the new Meiji government formally annexed Ezo as part of Japan.They renamed Ezo as Hokkaido.The Ainu people called their land Ainu Moshir - the land where peoplelive in peace. The Ainu people were dispossess of their land and theirculture. They were forced to adopt Japanese dress, speak the Japaneselanguage, cut their hair and beards in Japanese fashion, end alltattooing of their faces and body and to end their traditional huntingand fishing practices. (Japanese people grow rice.)Ainu people were ousted from the good land and the Japanese colonialsettlers were sent in to develop the island. From the mid 1870sAmerican engineers and agrarian specialists were employed to give adviceon Hokkaido's development - including what to do with the AinuSome scholars say the takeover of Hokkaido was Japan's first colonialventure followed by by the take-over of the Ryukyu Islands as a Hon(Domain) in 1872 and a Ken (Prefecture) in 1879, Taiwan in 1895 andKorea in 1910.In all cases of annexation the Japanese have been very domineering andtreat those annexed in a subserviant manner. Of course Korea and Taiwanhave been removed from the Japanese empire and for some strange mannerwe as Americans have become embroiled in the civil wars along the coastof Asia and have our forces in place for the past 56 years.It is also a fact that Japan has a self defense force stationed onOkinawa. I ask rhetorically - why?
In 1943, Franklin Delano Roosevelt took part in the Cairo Accords inCairo, Egypt and it was decided that all lands taken by violence orgreed (By Japan) were to be returned to their rightful owners and afterthe Unconditional Surrender and the subsequent Treaty of Peace withJapan, confirmed this agenda. Japan forfeited all their Islandpossessions. Japan was allowed to retain only the four main islands.By virtue of Article Three of the Treaty of Peace signed on 8 Septemeber 1951, we (The USA) agreed to propose to the Unitted Nationsto bring the Ryukyu Islands into their Trustee system. In the interimperiod we agreed to accept the right to exercise all and any powers ofadministration, legislation and jurisdiction over the territory and theinhabitants of these islands.When we first discussed accepting the mantle of responsibility for theRyukyu Islands it was with the intent of proposing them forTrusteeship. (Not Reversion.)The Korean conflict reared its ugly head and the Ryukyus were used asa base and quite effectively. It showed the military minds the truepotential of this very important chain of islands.So we dragged our feet on the Trusteeship system as it would put theRyukyu Islands vulnerable to the scrutiny of the Security Council ofthe United Nations and subject to audit. With our extensive military inventory which included everything from pocket knives to A-bombs, I'msure we didn't feel very happy about sharing this information with theUN Security Council who incidentally have Communist countries on theauditing team and this pitched the USA into the murky mess that we arein today.We are disturbing the customs and culture of the inhabitants of theRyukyu Islands and this may continue forever, if we don't address thissituation with the Cairo Accords in mind. Or, we could consider thepossibility of setting up a seperate base in a like area, where theAmerican Flag flies overhead.We already possess this area in the Marianas and we could develop thistype of area in the Palaus Island of Babelthuap, but it will cost moneyand a concrete decision, something I often feel the military isincapable of.The really logical answer is for the United States to stop these foraysto other countries were we fight for absolutely nothing and sometimesbring our boys home in a body bag. We should bring all our militaryback home and start to worry more about how to improve our own country.
Dear Governor Inamine,
I was surprised recently to find that the Okinawa Home Page does not include any information about the recent and on-going history of Okinawa. For example, there is no mention about the presence of US military bases on so much of the island or about the Battle of Okinawa, which brought the bases to begin with. Okinawa is truly a wonderful place, and as someone who grew up there, I know very well what a treasure it is. Still, part of its uniqueness (both negative and positive aspects) have to do with the presence of US bases. To not mention them seems to me to be less than honest. They are still a large factor in Okinawan identity--including the reason for the recent G-8 Economic Summit.
I hope you will consider including this part of your history.
I am very impressed that you chose the color of red. It is very symbolicbecause the red is the color of Life.In one of the articles of the New York Times of July 20th, Yukio Okamoto, aformer Japanese Foreign Ministry official, said that the main reason of puttingthe Summit in Okinawa was to bring a new era of thinking to the Okinawanmentality. This meant that the Japanese government tryed to uproot the dominantOkinawan spirituality for peace without military power. I think that the peoplein Okinawa including your redcard movement together with the people who have hadsolidality with thepeople in Okinawa have defeated the intention of the Japanese government.Keep doing your good work.Takashi Mizuno
I sent this message to the Okinawa Times. Since it is your movement I am addressing, I feel you should get a copy of it as well....I welcome any reply or counter-points you may have. This message is not meant to attack the Red Card Movement, it is just my opinion.
Jonathan GIbson, U.S.A
At a first look, the red card movement seems noble enough, but unfortunately their goal of getting their land back from the U.S. and ridding themselves of American bases is not likely going to be achieved.
The bases on the Okinawan islands serve a purpose. They are in a strategic position. As long as relations with China are shaky, and China insists on threatening American allies (Taiwan) the American bases will stay. It would be faster and easier to respond to hostilities from there than the American mainland.
Another purpose for the bases is to react towards a possible North Korean attack on South Korea, which is an American ally. The bases also offer additional security to Japan. Anyone hostile towards Japan and her provinces/properties will not be so willing to do anything about it with a large American force so close at hand.
There is also a economic advantage to the bases being in Okinawa. The bases employ many Okinawan's and Japanese, and these people may not want to give up their source of income. They have families to support. I understand that the Japanese economy is able to support those who would be hurt by the American pull out, but that could put a strain on the economy. I am not an economist, so I don't know what the long term effects would be.
Then there is the subject of pride. The American government hates to give up anything, to its own people or others. The only way they would leave is if the Japanese government demanded it, and even then might not (the American government has contracts with countries all over the world for long periods of time that grants them space for their bases-this might be the case with Okinawa).
Anyone wanting to offer a rebuttal, feel free to email me in person at Furchtlos@webtv.net
Jonathan GIbson, U.S.A.
SUBARASHII DESU YO! CNN gave your great success good coverage in the United States, and the New York Times, as usual, tried to ignore it. My sincere congratulations to see so many people wearing red at Kadena.
Japan Policy Research Institute
I simply have to tell you that the Okinawan human chain was in tne news last night here in Germany and they even had a report on the topic in another tv program called 'Auslandsjournal' (journal of foreign affairs). I could see thousands of people wearing red badges! It was great!
Dear Red Card
Congratulations on your work and solidarity greetings from San Francisco! We wish you well for the human chain at Kadena and other actions this week. I'm sending the final statement of the Women's Summit held in Okinawa June 22-25 and sponsored by Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence and the East Asia-US Women's Network Against Militarism.
With best wishes
From Boston Globe (Leadind newspapers for the six-state region of New England in the northeast U.S.)
Okinawa's message for the G-8 summit
By Joseph Gerson, 7/19/2000
On Friday, the first day of the Group of Eight summit of the leading industrial nations, Okinawans will be wearing red ribbons and handing out red cards. The message will be direct: ''No more US bases. No more weapons. No more military accidents. No more GI rapes. No more noise pollution. No more military crashes. No more GI crimes. No more US imperialism. No more dollars. No more misery.''
Tomorrow, 20 miles south of Nago - the isolated site of the summit - thousands of Okinawans will surround Kadena, the largest US air base in Asia, with a human chain several miles long. In the wake of yet another sexual molestation of an Okinawan girl by a GI and a GI hit-and-run accident, this demonstration and others will be the unexpected summit news.
Five years after a wave of protest unleashed by a GI abduction and rape of a 12-year-old girl, four years after 92 percent of Okinawan voters called for the withdrawal of US bases, Tokyo and Washington have marched back into the same cul de sac. The arrogance of power, Okinawa's tragic history, and 55 years of US military occupation are to blame.
Okinawa differs from the rest of Japan. It is less industrialized, it is semitropical, and in the words of Suzyuo Takazato, a leading Okinawan feminist, it is ''Japan's prostituted daughter.''
The Shogun's forces conquered Okinawa in 1609, and for most of the next 250 years, while Japan closed itself to the world, Okinawa was permitted to trade with China and the West, providing the Japanese court with a narrow
window to the world.
Okinawan exceptionalism ended when Admiral Perry's gunships ''opened'' Japan in 1853. With Japan's forcible integration into the 19th century global economy, Okinawa lost its unique role. Tokyo abolished the Okinawan monarchy and coercively integrated the archipelago into the ''emperor system.'' Okinawan language, family names, and many of its customs were forbidden.
World War II was also different for Okinawans, who experienced ground warfare on their own soil. Okinawan historian Moriteru Arasaki explains, Okinawa wasn't fortified until 1944, and ''the Battle of Okinawa was fought at the point where the inevitability of Japan's defeat was obvious, yet it was pursued as a sacrificial operation simply to buy time for the emperor system.''
To buy that time, 150,000 Okinawan civilians - a quarter of the population - were killed or forced to commit suicide, many at the hands of their Japanese ''protectors.''
Then came the US military occupation. Initially, Okinawans were interned in concentration camps, where many died of hunger and disease. Beyond the barbed wire, homes and farmland were seized for expanded and new military bases. Strategically located near the Chinese coast, Taiwan, Korea and the Philippines, Okinawa was considered the keystone of America's postwar dominance of Asia and the Pacific. The formal military occupation lasted 27 years, until 1972.
Then, as now, Okinawa served as an unsinkable aircraft carrier - a jumping-off point for military interventions from Vietnam to the Middle East. It was a secret base for US nuclear weapons and still serves many nuclear war fighting roles. It was and continues to be a site for guerrilla and live-fire training, a forward naval base, and a sexual haven for GIs. Until recently, GIs were above Japanese law and were rarely prosecuted for their crimes.
Okinawa's anticipated reversion to Japan would mean protection under Japan's ''Peace Constitution'' and the departure of US forces. Instead, US bases in Japan have been concentrated in Okinawa. With just 0.6 percent of Japan's land area and 1 percent of its population area, Okinawa now hosts 75 percent of exclusively US bases in Japan. On a daily basis, Okinawans are traumatized by the sonic terrors of low-altitude and night landing exercises. Live-fire exercises and unexploded ordnance have killed and wounded many. Since 1972, there have been more than 4,700 GI criminal incidents and accidents.
This history has taught Okinawans that militaries are the source of their insecurity. But since 1995, Washington and Tokyo have sought to pacify Okinawa's opposition. Promises were made to move several bases to isolated areas like Nago, where a new air base is to be built. A governor who opposed bases was ousted, and $1 billion was promised for ''development.'' Nago's selection as the summit site was part of this campaign.
Okinawans are a nonviolent people, but as their demonstrations attest, they demand that their dignity, their need for security, and their sentiments against bases be respected. They refuse to be silenced. With Washington's continued disregard for Okinawans, Nago is becoming Japan's Seattle.
Joseph Gerson is director of programs of the American Friends ServiceCommittee in New England.
This story ran as an op ed article on page A19 of the Boston Globe on7/19/2000.
Globe Newspaper Company.
Here's another news coverage about Red Card Movement!
Korean Herald http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/t_news/2000/07/__02/20000717_0214.html
"Early in the day, 10 university students pelted the nearby U.S. Information Service building with red paint while shouting anti-American slogans to protest the illegal dumping.
Also reported in : NewYork Times, Boston Globe, BBC, CNN, Asahi Evenening News, and so, on!
The Summit Meeting from Hell
by Chalmers Johnson
Never in recent memory have the Japanese people appeared to be less in charge of their nation's destiny. They seem not to know what they should be doing in a post-Cold War world and to be content to live in what is clearly an American satellite. At the same time, most Americans are ill-informed about recent trends in both Japan and East Asia. They, too, thoughtlessly follow the lead of their military-industrial-university complex and remain uninterested in the Japanese and Okinawan people who have been subordinated to Americanpower.
During June and July, 2000, major events began to bring the intrinsic relationship between Japan and the United States into the open. In mid-June, the leaders of South and North Korea met for the first time in the North Korean capital and pledged to end the division of their country that the United States and the former USSR imposed in 1945. These were not empty commitments. Within a few weeks North and South Korea had agreed to visits by families divided by the Korean war and to repatriate political prisoners. Two genuine American allies, Italy and Australia, recognized North Korea several months ago, and the Philippines did so on July 12. President Kim Dae Jung of South Korea, whose initiative brought about these achievements, declared that the threat of war on the Korean peninsula is over.
The U.S. military responded in a surly manner. It said that it did not trust these agreements and wanted to keep U.S. troops in Korea even if it were reunited. The Japanese, America's much touted main allies in the Pacific, were made to look like simpletons. The so-called U.S.-Japan Defense Guidelines, which Secretary of Defense Cohen and Secretary of State Albright forced on Japan two years ago, are intended to make Japan a secure rear-area for American forces if they should decide to attack North Korea. They allow the United States to take over Japanese airfields, hospitals, ports, and other facilities whenever the U.S. declares a security "emergency." The Americans justified the Guidelines to the Japanese entirely in terms of the alleged threat from North Korea
For the same stated reason, the United States pressured Japan into joining its missile defense program. As a result of continuous U.S. scare propaganda about the threat of a North Korean missile, Japan also committed itself to building very expensive military reconnaissance satellites. But on July 8, the U.S. military's test of its so-called National Missile Defence (NMD) system abjectly failed. The U.S. fired a missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, which released a mock nuclear warhead over the Pacific Ocean. Another missile launched from Meck Island in Kwajalein Atoll attempted-and failed-to shoot the warhead from the sky. A similar test in January 2000 also failed. Given the billions already wasted on it, the whole American star wars operation begins to look like one huge con game.
Again, Japan's government leaders were made to look stupid for going along with the American military. By ensnaring themselves in the domestic U.S. debate between Clinton and Congress over who is more macho in using force, the Japanese have antagonized China, revealed that over the past year they did not know what was going on in Korea, and wildly overreacted to the starving "rogue state" in North Korea.
On July 21-22, Japan is host to the annual summit meeting of the leaders of the eight major democratic nations plus Russia. The late Japanese prime minister Obuchi decided to hold it in Okinawa, an island prefecture of Japan's that is also the site of thirty-nine American military bases. Anti-American revolt has been endemic there ever since Okinawa's reversion to Japanese sovereignty in 1972, which produced no change in the American presence. The Okinawans dislike the Americans, and they hate the Japanese-as the former governor of Okinawa, Masahide Ota said to me in February 1996. The reason is obvious: they are continuously exposed to the rape of Okinawan women and teenagers by American marines and sailors, environmental pollution, noise pollution, and the Pentagon's arrogant presumption that people it has colonized and victimized for the past fifty-five years welcome its presence. They hate the Japanese for foisting these troops onto their small island.
On the eve of the summit, which the Japanese government has worked diligently to prepare, the U.S. military in Okinawa showed that it simply cannot control its own men. Early in the morning of July 3, a drunken marine broke into a private home and groped a 14-year-old girl as she was sleeping in her bed. Only a few days earlier a group of drunk marines got into a fight with a taxi driver in order to help one of their mates escape from paying him. An on July 10, at 3:00 in the morning, a drunken airman from Kadena Air Force Base ran a red light, hit an Okinawan pedestrian, and sped from the scene. With allies like these, the Japanese government does not need enemies. To add to the growing fiasco of this potential "summit meeting from hell," Secretary of State Madeleine Albright declared that she was too busy with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to attend.
Japan is stumbling with no relief in sight. It has no control whatsoever over how and where the U.S. uses its troops in Okinawa. There is virtually no precedent for an independent state accepting foreign troops on its soil, giving up all control over their use, and still pretending to be sovereign.
In a general election on June 25, the Liberal Democratic Party exploited Japan's rigged political system to hang onto power. According to public opinion polls, Japan now has its least popular government since the end of the Allied Occupation in 1952. Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori has no mandate to do anything at all; he simply tries to keep his mouth shut, since every time he open it he makes the situation worse for his party. If the American public paid even slightly as much attention to the fascist remarks of Japan's prime minister as it does to those of Joerg Haider in Austria, World War II would begin again.
When and if President Clinton lands at Kadena Air Force Base on July 20, he will face some 25,000 Okinawans surrounding the airfield in a human chain. They will all be holding up red cards. This so-called red card movement is intended to show the Okinawans' true feelings by giving the American president the final sanction in soccer (European football). When a soccer referee holds up a red card it means that a player has so violated the spirit of the game he must get off the field at once. That's what the Okinawans want the Americans to do-get their bases out now. Will the American press report these events? If its past performance in Japan is any guide, the answer is unequivocal: No.
CHALMERS JOHNSON is author of Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of
American Empire (Metropolitan Books, 2000).
"With now the occurrence of the North-South summit in Korea, the waisetsu jiken (sexual assault) and hit-and-run accident in Okinawa, the election of the least popular government in postwar Japan, the refusal of U.S. Secretary of State Albright to attend the foreign ministers meeting, and many other failings of the LDP (Liberal Democratic Party) leadership in both Japan and Okinawa, the summit is an outstanding time to illustrate to the world the bankruptcy of the U.S. policies of military forward deployment and military scare tactics in EastAsia. President Clinton needs to pay attention to the Redcard Movement. Let us follow the lead of the Korean leaders and give peace a chance. Get theMarines out of Okinawa now. The Cold War in East Asia will actually end if only the U.S. and Japan will stop standing in the way."
"The news of the latest Marine sexual assault makes the intrinsic situation explicit and might elicit some vaguely honest reporting about the conditions American imperialism imposes on the Okinawans....The Japanese press is being very slow to report this story... I hope there are more than 25,000 people surrounding Kadena AFB holding up red cards when Clinton arrives with the rest of the seven dwarves."
Dr. Chalmers Johnson
Japan Policy Research Institute
"It is a sad state of affairs when the Los Angeles Times more explicitly describes exactly what happend than any newspaper on the island itself. Precise details of the incident have not been widely reported - the media merely referring to the 'waisetsu jiken' - directly translated as 'obscene incident' or some such sort - with very little reference to what clearly seems to be the molesting of a fourteen year old girl. The LDP (Liberal Democratic Party) and conservative groups in Okinawa were also quick to react - in well publicized displays of 'protest' and 'anger' at the US military which clearly were made up of 'bark and no bite' and may be viewed as calculated attempts to placate angry citizens. Through such acts, the LDP have perhaps been to some extent successful in quelling any large scale protest - a condition in direct contrast to the Ota administrations reaction to the rape of 95. The contradictions and two-sidedness of LDP policies - to accept the bases on the one hand and on the other display an anti-USmilitary stance when politically necessary - have not been adequately delved into by local journalists or commentators. Yet such inherent contradictions inevitably lie beneath the surface. There was also another incident yesterday, which you may have heard about already. A drunk US servicemen ran over an Okinawan male in a US-number car in the early hours of Sunday morning and then fled, later to be tracked down within base confines and arrested. This also occured in Okinawa City. Such consecutive incidents clearly question US and Japanese government attempts to separate the military itself from supposed 'unfortunate' events. They lead credence to the assertion that violence and the US military presence are inherently inter-related. In other words, to borrow Dr. Chalmers Johnson's most precise expression, they make an intrinsic situation explicit. Will this be enough to turn the tide and draw mass participation to anti-base events? After over four years of non-stop political action and protest, and US and Japanese policies of 'rule and divide', the opposition up to this point has been weary, divided and unorganized. Unfortunately to some extent this condition is little likely to change in the week or so left leading up to the Summit. However, a dampener has inevitably been put to Okinawa's hitherto 'Summit fever'. As truckloads of police from mainland Japan infiltrate every town and village which lies on the coast from Naha city to Nago city with '24-hour security checks', a general sense of apprehension has begun to overcome even those most vulnerable to the 'spirit of welcome' atmosphere generated by massive government, media, and big-business intervention. At his historic speech at Mabuni, Clinton looks set to declare a 'global vision for the twenty-first century' which the majority of people within Okinawa and no doubt across East Asia and the world will far from weclome with open arms or a heartfelt smile.
PhD Candidate, Australian National University
Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies
Visiting Researcher, University of the Ryukyus
"Thank you very much for sending me the e-mail on the Red Card Movement. I very much appreciated this initiative! Unfortunately I am now living in Germany, so I cannot really be part of the Red Card Movement in Okinawa, but I will do my best to spread the information about this movement here in Germany, too.
Gabriele Vogt, Germany
I am so glad that the organizers of the International Forum arranged for you to speak to us, so that we could learn about the red card campaign. As I heard you describe it, I thought it was a brilliant way to nonviolently focus global attention on the need to rid Okinawa of U.S. troops and bases. Congratulations on your insight and organizing. In terms of linking our web sites, I am happy to do so. The address of my program home page is: www.afsc.org/pes.htm. At the moment, our petition and the fact sheet we have circulated in support of our campaign can be found on the "Major Focus Areas" page. Either later this week or earlynext week, our "Current Events and Activitis" page will have a link to the petition and fact sheet. We also include a press release about the full page ad we will be running in the Okinawa Times on the first day of the summit and the speech I gave at the International Forum. We can alsoinclude a link to the Red Card Campaign there, if you would like. Keep up your fine work. I hope to be able to return to Okinawa some day, without having to see U.S. troops or bases. Perhaps I will see you then, if not before.
With all best wishes,
Dr. Joseph Gerson
American Friends Committee
This is the translation of your message "The Red Card Movement in Okinawa" into Indonesian. It's only a small contribution for our common struggle against US-Japan military domination in Asia and imperialist oppression.A Luta Continua (The Struggle Continues)
Jaringan Kerja Budaya (Cultural Network) , Indonesia
Never in my life have I been so disgraced of the human race! Those who chose to do any of this kind of "Red Card" display is not only disgracing the U.S. and Asian population, you are disgracing the people of the world. It's people like you that cause the hatred and content in the world, and represent all the negative things that we are fighting against.
When are you going to wake up and realize that the military is not here to hurt you, they are here to protect you. Instead of showing protest for the military, you should be showing honor and praise for them. You should all be down on your knees thanking the militaries for your lives; without them, who would fight the wars that represented the hatred from people like you. Yes, I feel that war is unnecessary, but we wouldn't have the wars if it wasn't due to some form of hatred and intolerance; and you are representing that hate and intolerance. Why even start a protest that will do and solve nothing, but merely cause more hatred. The U.S. and all other military are only here to represent peace, and to protect it.
So, if you are asking me to spread the word for this ridiculous "Red Card" Protest, I WILL NOT!! I will, however, spread the word to ignore your message and ask those who agree with me to also spread this word. I am merely one person, and I know that you will still have your little protest, but someday you will realize, that the military is not the problem, YOU, WHO PROTEST, ARE THE PROBLEM!
Reply to the mail above:
Sorry to tell you, but you are not to cognizant of what has been happening for the past 56 years. Let me enlighten you. I am a 80 year old former Marine who fought from Guadalcanal through to Iwo Jima and when the war ended, I paid my own way to go back and help the Ryukyuan people to get back on their feet. I stayed for twenty years and I then went to Vietnam where I stayed for six years and I came back to the Ryukyu Islands to once more try to get them out of the problem that was no way something they started. I am still fighting, but the one, I am fighting is the Government of Japan - not the United States. Why? Before we ever landed in Okinawa in 1945, our President at that time was Franklin D. Roosevelt and he represented the United States in a conference in Cairo, Egypt where in he was part of the Cairo Accords, which was, "to return all lands taken by violence or greed" Formosa was one of those places and it was returned to the Taiwanese. The Ryukyu Islands (Okinawa) was another and it was to be returned to Kingdom Status which had been taken away from them in 1879. They lived as 2nd class citizens on their own islands and FDR made it right in 1945 and it was all spelled out in the Treaty of Peace with Japan who had surrender to us - not just a surrender, but a UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER. I came to Okinawa, now called the Government of the Ryukyu Islands and helped them to rebuild their houses and and to blow life into an economy. These were wonderful people and I worked side by side with them for years and unfortunately the Koreans started a civil war and the United States went to Korea to fight a police action in an attempt to quell a civil war. That was 50 years ago and we are still there in Korea and your guess is a good as mine, just how long we are going to be there. Our civilian leadership came to Okinawa (John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State under Eisenhower) and Dulles said the Japanese still had Residual sovereignty over the Ryukyuan people. That is not only Unconstitutional, but also in violation of the International Courts and definitely violated the Treaty of Peace that we fought so hard to bring about . In 1972, illegally took back the Ryukyu Islands and our military have been there for some 56 years and now the Zaibatsu and the Yakuza have come to Okinawa and they are taking the lands from the Ryukyuans and the Yakuza are lending their muscle to support the taking, plus they also run the prostitution on Okinawa. Recognize the Ryukyuans have done absolutely nothing except to hold hands around the KAB, there have been nothing but a peaceful protest, which is exactly what the Red Card Movement is all about. We will just wear RED when Clinton come to Okinawa and he will know why. Also you should be aware that we built a base for the Marines, complete with barracks and all the accouterments in the Marianas, to include Saipan, Tinian, Rota and Guam, but the Japanese are paying the Marine Corps to stay in Okinawa. Also we have one other area we could move in tomorrow, if the Marines so desired and this is in Palau. Frankly, I don't think the Ryukyuan people care whether the Marines stayed, but the whole thinking is that we (And I am Ryukyuan) would like our island back. No matter how they (Japan) justifies, the Ryukyuans had it made before and they can do so again. Yes, I married to a Ryukyuan almost 40 years ago and I am part of a wonderful group of families and yes, I am the one speaking for them No, we are not the problem, but we feel it is the Japanese. Also, I am privy to many of the things that happened during the past 56 years and I cry when I talk with young men who watched their mother being raped in front of the whole family and they have not said anything about this, but it has left its mark There have been over 5000 incidents since 1972 to include the rape of a two year old girl by two military men. Men who were immediately put aboard an airplane and shipped back to the States. In closing, allow me to say that rather getting down on my knees and thanking the military, I was the military and I have always felt the Ryukyuan people were dragged into a war they neither wanted nor supported. I first met the Ryukyuans as laborers in Saipan and they helped me to build a hospital and I later met them back on Okinawa and I was happy to see them. Yes, there were 170,000 Ryukyuans killed on Okinawa and many of them were killed by the Japanese and the Ryukyuan people know this. Enough - you can feel as you do, but know what I have just told you.
Marion William Steele
I have a home in Okinawa and a home in Nevada City, California
First, and most important the United States defeated the Government of Japan and the Government gave documents for an Unconditional Surrender to the UnitedStates of America. We then put together the Treaty of Peace with Japan and bothnations signed the Treaty and the Diet of Japan and the Senate of the UnitedStates ratified the Treaty.According to the Cairo Accords of 1943, if and when we won the war, Japan wouldlose all lands taken by violence or greed. The Treaty of Peace in the addendumspelled this out and the Ryukyu Islands were forfeited to the Ryukyuan people.A government of the Ryukyu Islands was formed and monitored by a group of theunited States Military with the idea, that after certain weapons were removedfrom Okinawa, the Government was to by returned to the Ryukyuan people and wewould offer aid in the form of economic development - until the Ryukyuan peoplewere able to take over on their own..A civil war broke out in Korea and the United States offered a police action toquell this civil war and we are still there 50 years later. Okinawa was set upas a supply base for the Korean War without giving the Ryukyuan people anopportunity to either agree or disagree. Our military made the Ryukyu Islandspart of a battlefield along with the defeated Japanese four main islands.From that point on every action of our forces on Okinawa was done under the"might is right" rule. Everything was Unconstitutional and againstInternational Law.John Foster Dulles, our Secretary of State, highhandedly made theunConstitutional statement in reference to the Ryukyuan people, ( to theJapanese) " the Japanese had residual sovereignty over the Ryukyuan people."This was not in agreement with the Unconditional Surrender nor the Treaty ofPeace with Japan. One must remember that a Treaty is a Treaty and can only beset aside when our Senate votes to nullify or amend it and I am sure the peopleof the United States would not allow this to happen in view of the lengths wehad to go to win this war.Our military made a very murky deal with the Japanese government that broughtabout a "manufactured reversion" and brought the Ryukyu Government back under the Government of Japan in 1972. The Government of Japan paid out 8 billion dollars to keep our military on Okinawa and I now see the yakuzu working prostitution and possibly within the auspices of the Government of Japan. Inote that AIDS have become very prevalent since 1985, when I first noted thepresence of the yakuzu in Okinawa I also note a revival of the Zaibatsu duringthe past ten years.I maintain the Government of the Ryukyu legally still exists and a investigativegroup from the world court under International Law, would prove I am right, butfrankly, I do not trust my own government and quite frankly, I feel we have noright acting as policemen for the world.It would be my intent to re-awaken the government of the Ryukyu Islands andallow them to run their own government and should they (GRI) desire to contractwith the United States Marine Corps, it should be spelled out and the agendashould be worked out with GRI and the USMC.Personally, I feel the leadership in Okinawa is supremely capable of operatingtheir own StateBe cognizant that I have the documents to support all that I have written above.
An appeal to the citizens around the world:
It is imperative to join the Red Card Movement to request to both the Japanese and U.S. governments to remove the military bases from Okinawa and to reach conflict resolution through negotiation. This movement praises non-violence, pursues to prevent environmental pollution and strives to create a society in which human beings are able to live as one.
The presence of military bases unavoidably lures accidents and incidents and infringes on their neighbors' human rights in different ways. In recent years, the tension between North and South Korea has eased as seen from the realization of the Pyongyang summit for a possible peaceful unification. We no longer live in an era in which the construction of the imaginary "enemy" is necessary.
Under this international reconciliatory movement and the tide of a people's peaceful mind, in Okinawa it is the time to be free from a half-century of oppression from the military bases.
To the people all over the world, let's respond to the Red Card Movement by clearly demonstrating an anti-military base stance to the G8 summit leaders by using the red color. Let's use the summit as an opportunity to voice Okinawans' feelings to the world that the precious land that the ancestors left us will be used in a productive manner for the Okinawans. In spite of the difficult situation that Okinawa faces, let's look up to the ideals of peace, cooperation and independence.
Ota Peace Research Institute
Dear Red Card
Congratulations on your work and solidarity greetings from San Francisco! We wish you well for the human chain at Kadena and other actions this week. I'm sending the final statement of the Women's Summit held in Okinawa June 22-25 and sponsored by Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence and the East Asia-US Women's Network Against Militarism.
With best wishes
FINAL STATEMENT International Women's Summit to Redefine Security Naha, Okinawa, Japan, June 22-25, 2000 On the eve of the annual meeting of the G-8 leaders, to be held in Okinawa, July 21-23, 2000, ninety-one members of the East Asia-US Women's Network Against Militarism, coming from the Philippines, Puerto Rico, South Korea, Japan, U.S., mainland Japan, and Okinawa, convened the International Women's Summit to Redefine Security. We are activists, teachers, students, researchers, elected officials, survivors of physical, sexual, and emotional violence; we are daughters, mothers, and wives. The purpose of this meeting was to challenge the principle of "national security" on which the economic policies of the G-8 are based. These economic policies can never achieve genuine security. Rather, they generate gross insecurity formost peoples of the world and devastate the natural environment. These economic policies are inextricably linked to increasing militarization throughout the world. Militaries reap enormous profits for multinational corporations and stockholders through the development, production, and sale of weapons of destruction. Moreover, militaries maintain control of local populations and repress those who oppose the fundamental principles on which the world economic system is based. The current economic system depends on deep-seated attitudes and relationships characterized by greed, fear, domination, and the objectification of "others" expressed through racism, sexism, imperialism, and the desire to control the physical environment. Vested interests, routine ways of thinking, prejudice, ignorance, and inertia also play their part in maintaining entrenched systems of economic, social, and political inequality. This Women's Summit builds on the earlier meetings of the East Asia-US Women's Network in Naha, Okinawa (1997) and Washington, DC (1998) which sought to build a strong international network of women who oppose militarism and are working to define an agenda for true global security and peace. Throughout our four-day gathering, we affirmed that genuine security is based on the following four key tenets: * the environment in which we live must be able to sustain human and natural life * people's basic survival needs for food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, and education must be met; * people's fundamental human dignity and respect for cultural identities must be honored; and * people and the natural environment must be protected from avoidable harm. By these standards, there are no truly secure societies in the world and none that are fully committed to achieving genuine security. Yet many detailed alternative proposals to creating and maintaining true security have been developed by international peace and human rights organizations.These include specific proposals for non-violent conflict resolution, early-warning procedures, mediation services, and the restoration andre-building of devastated lands and communities. Development for genuine security must be economically and environmentally sustainable. Participants in the International Women's Summit shared our experiences of the impact of this militarized economy on our lives. We seede militarization as a process of incremental steps by which governments must reduce military operations, expenditures, and cultures while simultaneously expanding non-military alternatives. Toward our goal ofachieving true security, we issue the following demands to the leaders of G-8 nations and to the leaders of nations that we represent: * Stop the bombing on Vieques, Puerto Rico; cease the war in Mindanao, Philippines; end the Korean War and support efforts to reunify Korea; stop plans for new or replacement bases in Okinawa, e.g. the proposed heliport at Henoko. These immediate steps would be the basis for ultimate removal of military presence from these communities and return the land to local control. * Revise the unequal Status of Forces Agreements (SOFA) and Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), a first step toward the total removal of US bases from Okinawa, mainland Japan, Korea, and the Philippines. * Oppose the new US-Japan Defense Guidelines that require Japan to provide facilities and personnel to support US military activities in the region. The Guidelines constitute a violation of Article 9 of the Japanese constitution. * Ratify the International Criminal Court, which will provide a mechanism for ordinary people to take action against military crimes. * Compensate host countries and individual victims and survivors of military toxic waste and of violent acts against women and children that are results of the US military presence. Specifically:1. adopt the Host Country Bill of Rights as ratified in the International Grassroots Summit for Military Toxics (October 1999, Washington, DC); 2. provide full accountability and compensation for violence against women that includes violence against women in host communities, sexualharassment of women in the military, and domestic violence in military families. * Take responsibility for social, economic, and political development of Amerasian children by the US and governments of host countries. * Immediately decrease military spending by developing specific plans and timelines for overall demilitarization. Specifically:1. eliminate Japan's "Sympathy Budget" that supports US presence in Japan;2. commit to ongoing cumulative reduction of military spending- for example, 5% per year) and reallocate these resources toward compensation and redress for victims and survivors of military operations 3. develop alternatives to military conflict resolution 4. provide housing, food, shelter, health care, and education, which are basic survival needs * Stop new weapons design development, and testing; end sales of weapons. * The perspectives, leadership and issues of women be central to all matters of peace and security, including planning and decision-making of base closures and conversion. * Women's organizations must be included at all levels of peace negotiations and national reconstruction. A pressing case is the dialogues beginning between North and South Korea. * Conversion of military systems and military land must promote and reflect programs and projects that meet local community needs and are culturally relevant. We conclude that military security is a contradiction in terms. Thepresent militarized international security system is maintained at the expense of the natural environment, the economic and social needs of many people, and fundamental human rights. This is a price we refuse to pay.