Pentagon to request 2 new rounds of BRAC

January 25, 2012 

Will Hawai’i get a chance to convert military bases to more sustainable alternatives? If defense budget cuts lead to base closures and conversions of excess installations in Hawai’i, we may have a rare opportunity to recover more military occupied lands and facilities.  The Air Force Times reported that Secretary of Defense Panetta will request two rounds of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Act closures:

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is expected to request, as early as tomorrow, two new rounds of military base closures in the United States as part of the Pentagon budget-cutting process, according to defense sources.


To close or consolidate military bases in the United States requires legislation from Congress to create a bipartisan Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC), which then studies the problem and makes recommendations to the president and the defense secretary.

The last round of BRAC took place in 2005 and the changes it implemented were only completed in this past fall.

The Army may face the biggest cuts with proposals to cut the number of brigades and troops. The Hill reported that:

The Army is planning to cut at least eight brigades and 80,000 troops as it trims its budgets, U.S. officials confirmed Wednesday.

The new brigade cuts, which will happen over several years, will reduce the number of Army troops to 490,000 from a high of 570,000. The cuts, first reported by The Associated Press, could reduce the number of brigades from 45 to as low as 32.

The Army’s force reduction has been expected by analysts, but the cuts are now getting finalized as part of the Pentagon’s 2013 budget, which is the first that will deal with a $487 billion reduction over the next decade.

The overall 2013 Pentagon base budget will be $524 billion, according to congressional officials and analysts, which is a reduction of $7 billion from the 2012 budget Congress approved last month.


A Message from the People of Okinawa and Japan to the People of the United States

September 23, 2011 

Okinawan and Japanese peace groups placed an opinion ad on the New York Times website 9/21 – 23 with a message to the people of U.S.

A Message from the People of Okinawa and Japan to the People of the United States

In 1945, during the last days of WWII, the U.S. and the former Japanese Imperial forces fought an intense ground battle in Okinawa, the small island in southwest Japan. The battle claimed 200,000 lives, including many American and Japanese soldiers but also a much larger number of unarmed Okinawan civilians. Ever since, U.S. military forces have occupied Okinawa, using land which was seized from families at gunpoint. Even today, 34 U.S. Military bases and facilities, including 8 Marine Corps bases and 1 Air Force base, still remain in Okinawa. The U.S. closed many bases at home and abroad after the Berlin Wall fell. Although the risks from the Cold War are long gone, U.S. Military bases in Okinawa have remained the same or grown.


The Okinawan people strongly hope for a life in peace without bases, but the U.S. and Japanese government have announced new construction to move the dangerous Futenma to the middle of pristine natural habitat a few miles away in Henoko, Okinawa.

The sea in Henoko is a treasure trove for marine life, where many rare species, including the Okinawan Dugong, live. Dugong, a large marine mammal similar to the manatee, is endangered species and protected by international environmental conventions. It is said that mermaid legend was made based on this lovely animal, which is now in danger of extinction because of the construction plan of the gigantic air base on their ocean.

Okinawan people reject any kind of new base construction which destroys the sea of Dugong and the safety of local families. Every small town and big city mayor in Okinawa oppose this reckless construction plan, and the Okinawan Governor has rejected it. The Okinawan legislature and many municipal councils have adopted resolutions against the plan.

No place in Japan accepts the U.S. Marine bases as the replacement of Futenma Air Station. Please bring the Marines in Okinawa to the U.S. The U.S. respects human rights and democracy. Please hear the Okinawan people’s democratic voice. We hope for peace by dialogue, not by dependence on military power.



U.S. military returns some land to Okinawans, other landowners refuse to renew leases for U.S. bases

September 10, 2011 

The Ryukyu Shimpo reports that the U.S. returned Gimbaru Training Area to the local community:

The United States military returned the Gimbaru Training Area to Kin Town and other owners, on July 31, 54 years after the land was appropriated for military use. Twenty-three hectares of a total area of 60 hectares were handed over to the owners. Thirty-three hectares will be returned to the landowners after the completion of works including the removal of buildings and researching and analyzing the environment for residual pollution using the likes of a magnetic survey. Four hectares of state-owned land and ridou, or old public road without lot-numbers, will be transferred to the Town. A total of 43 individuals and organizations, including Kin Town, own land inside the Ginbaru Training Area. Because the government will not pay a rental fee for the land, special financial compensation will be paid to the landowners for up to three years from August 1, the day that the land is returned.

The return of the Ginbaru Training Area was agreed upon by the governments of the United States and Japan in the final report of the Special Action Committee (SACO) in 1996. However, there was a delay in the return process because it was decided that the helipad in Ginbaru should be moved to the Blue Beach Training Area in the same town, and so the return of the Training Area was significantly delayed beyond the scheduled date of the end of 1997. The Training Area is the fifth facility that the final report of SACO agreement decided should be returned.

The local community plans to convert the base into medical rehabilitation and lodging facilities. One local leader expressed their vision:

Tsuyoshi Gibu, head of Kin Town who went into the training area on July 31, said, “I feel quite emotional about this. We want to develop it as a model for the consolidation and reduction of U.S. bases. We will ask the government to help us to succeed in converting the military facilities to civil use.”

It is a shame that Hawaiʻi leaders lacked the vision and the will to create a model base conversion when the Barbers Point Naval Air Station closed several years ago.

The U.S. military is still an irritant to the local community:

Meanwhile, the U.S. military has often carried out helicopter landing drills outside the helipad in the Blue Beach Training Area, despite the government having promised that the helicopter landing drills will fundamentally be held at the helipad. Town officials have protested to the U.S. military, and requested that they hold the drills at the helipad within the Blue Beach Training Area.

Meanwhile, more than 4000 Okinawan landowners whose land is occupied by U.S. military bases will not renew their contracts for U.S. military use of their land.  The Ryukyu Shimpo reports:

Lease contracts between the Government and local landowners providing their land for military use will expire on May 14, 2012. One hundred and seventy four landowners with land on 17 facilities who agreed to enter into a contract with the government the previous time round, in 1992, have refused to sign this time. The combined total land area of their property amounts to 426998 square meters (308 hitsu numbers).

The refusal by landowners to enter into a contract will be a first for six facilities of the Okuma Rest Center, Camp Schwab, Kin Blue Beach Training Area, Camp Courtney, Camp McTureous and White Beach. There were no rejections of contract offers the previous time in 1992.

But it seems that the Japanese military will impose the lease arrangement on these landowners despite their refusal to lease the land:

On August 29, the Okinawa Defense Bureau announced that the Defense Minister approved the procedures for the use of this land for 17 facilities based on the Special Land Lease. A total of 3832 landowners have not responded to requests to lease their lands for military use and the Defense Minister has moved to carry out the procedure in these cases. With 174 new landowners rejecting the contracts, the number of landowners who do not confirm their approval will reach about 4000 with their land area totaling 72 hectares.

(If anyone can explain the “Special Land Lease” laws, please write a comment or send an email. ) So much for democracy and liberty in occupied Okinawa.  In Hawaiʻi the military has seized tens of thousands of acres of land through condemnation proceedings.


The struggle for ex-military lands from Puerto Rico to Hawai’i

July 12, 2011 

In her article “Struggles for Ex-Base Lands in Puerto Rico” published in the Peace Review, Mills College professor and Puerto Rican activist/scholar Deborah Berman Santana writes:

Community struggles against militarism do not end once they succeed in ending military occupation and closing down bases. In fact, such victories often signal the beginning of a potentially much more difficult struggle—that is, to ensure that the formerly militarized lands and resources will benefit the communities that were most impacted by the bases. Since military bases are usually built in highly desirable locations in terms of accessible coastlines, fertile lands, and abundant water resources, once closed, they often become targets for corporate and elite control.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in Puerto Rico, a United States colony since 1898 with a continuing history of U.S. military occupation and corporate economic exploitation, as well as political domination by an entrenched local elite. The story of the sixty-year struggle of the people on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques against U.S. Navy occupation and bombing received international attention, while continuing efforts of that community to hold the Navy accountable for its toxic legacy have recently begun to receive more coverage. Yet the equally important struggle of the communities impacted by the Roosevelt Roads Naval Station—the huge naval complex to which Vieques belonged—is virtually unknown outside of Puerto Rico. This essay examines the important community struggle, based both on class and colonial resistance, to regain the lands that comprised the military base known as Roosevelt Roads for sixty years.


The difficulty of the clean up process is well known in Hawai’i at sites like Kaho’olawe, Waikane, and Waikoloa. However,  in Hawai’i we need to address whose vision dictates the reuse of the former military lands.

The Navy has begun to sell and lease excess lands in Hawai’i to generate revenue for Ford Island redevelopment. It was a special loophole created by Senator Inouye to facilitate the privatization of former military lands, to the exclusion of the conversion of these excess lands to other conservation, sustainable development or culture oriented reuses.    This issue may arise in Lualualei, where the land has been relatively underutilized by the military and may be a candidate for some sort of transfer in the future.  The community in Wai’anae wants to see the lands return to agriculture, especially since the Lualualei vertisols are some of the richest agricultural soils in Hawai’i.  But developers want to exploit this “frontier” of closing military lands.

The Wai’anae community is resisting the encroachment of industrialization in Lualualei. But these profit driven elites are pushing for changes to the Wai’anae Sustainable Communities Plan, including an industrial spot zone in Lualualei and a Pohakea bypass road that would penetrate the Wai’anae mountains and destroy agricultural lands, native forest and sacred sites.  The Pohakea road was inserted into the draft plan without the knowledge or consent of the community.  It has been compared to another H-3 Freeway.

On Sunday, Na Wahine O Kunia sponsored a cultural access to Pohakea in the Wai’anae mountains. It is one of the traditional passes through the Wai’anae range (the other being Kolekole that is also controlled by the military) where Hi’iaka traveled from Wai’anae to ‘Ewa in her epic journey.  They plan another hike on July 16 to raise awareness about the riches of the area and the sacred landscape that would be affected by over development.


Former Reagan aide: Get Out of Japan

June 18, 2010 

This article is from a fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute. The author is a former special assistant to President Reagan.


Get Out of Japan

by Doug Bandow


Candidate Barack Obama may have charmed foreign peoples, but President Barack Obama unashamedly cold shoulders foreign leaders he doesn’t like. One of them was Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, who sought to reduce the number of U.S. bases on the island of Okinawa. The Obama administration worked diligently to frustrate Hatoyama’s efforts, which helped force his resignation barely eight months into his term. It was an impressive performance in raw political power. But it likely was a Pyrrhic victory.

When World War II ended, the U.S. occupied Japan and effectively colonized the island of Okinawa, seized in a bitter battle shortly before Tokyo surrendered. The U.S. loaded Okinawa with bases and only returned it to Japanese sovereignty in 1972. Four decades later nearly 20 percent of the island remains occupied by American military facilities.

The U.S. military likes Okinawa because it is centrally located. Most Japanese like Okinawa because it is the most distant prefecture. Concentrating military facilities on the island—half of U.S. personnel and three-quarters of U.S. bases (by area) in Japan are located in a territory making up just .6 percent of the country—is convenient for everyone except the people who live there.

Okinawans have been protesting against the bases for years. In 1995 the rape of a teenage girl set off vigorous demonstrations and led to various proposals to lighten the island’s burden. In 2006 the Japanese government agreed to help pay for some Marines to move to Guam while relocating the Futenma facility to the less populated Okinawan community of Henoko.

But residents wanted the base moved off of the island and the government delayed implementation of the agreement. During last year’s parliamentary election the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) promised to move the installation elsewhere. Prime Minister Hatoyama later said: “It must never happen that we accept the existing plan.”

However, the Obama administration refused to reconsider and threatened the U.S.-Japanese relationship. That unsettled a public which had voted the DPJ into power primarily for economic reasons. Prime Minister Hatoyama wanted to turn the unbalanced alliance into a more equal partnership but the Japanese people weren’t ready. Said Hatoyama as he left office: “Someday, the time will come when Japan’s peace will have to be ensured by the Japanese people themselves.”

Washington’s victory appeared to be complete. The Japanese government succumbed to U.S. demands. A new, more pliant prime minister took over. The Japanese nation again acknowledged its humiliating dependency on America.

Yet the win may prove hollow. Although Hatoyama’s replacement, Prime Minister Naoto Kan, gives lip service to the plan to relocate the Marine Corps Air Station at Futenma within Okinawa, the move may never occur. There’s a reason Tokyo has essentially kicked the can down the road since 1996. Some 90,000 people, roughly one-tenth of Okinawa’s population, turned out for a protest rally in April. With no way to satisfy both Okinawans and Americans, the Kan government may decide to follow its predecessors and kick the can for a few more years.

Moreover, there is talk of activists mounting a campaign of civil disobedience. Public frustration is high: in mid-May, a human chain of 17,000 surrounded Futenma. Local government officials oppose the relocation plan and would hesitate to use force against protestors. Naoto Kan could find himself following his predecessor into retirement if he forcibly intervened. Even a small number of demonstrators would embarrass U.S. and Japanese officials alike.

Moreover, Washington’s high-handedness may eventually convince the Japanese people that their nation must stop being an American protectorate. It may be convenient to be defended by the world’s superpower, but self-respect matters too. Tokyo has essentially given up control over its own territory to satisfy dictates from Washington. That is a high price to pay for U.S. protection. Kenneth B. Pyle, a professor at the University of Washington, writes: “the degree of U.S. domination in the relationship has been so extreme that a recalibration of the alliance was bound to happen, but also because autonomy and self-mastery have always been fundamental goals of modern Japan.”

Yet what is most curious about the issue is the dogged insistence of American officials in maintaining the Japanese protectorate. The world in which the security treaty was signed has disappeared. Admits Kent E. Calder of SAIS, “the international political-economic context of the alliance and the domestic context in both nations have changed profoundly.” There is no reason to assume that a relationship created for one purpose in one context makes sense for another purpose in another context.

The one-sided alliance—the United States agrees to defend Japan, Japan agrees to be defended—made sense in the aftermath of World War II. But sixty-five years later Japan possesses the second-largest economy on earth and has the potential to defend itself and help safeguard its region.

“All of my Marines on Okinawa are willing to die if it is necessary for the security of Japan,” Lieutenant General Keith Stalder, the Pacific commander of the Marine Corps, observed in February. Yet “Japan does not have a reciprocal obligation to defend the United States.” How does that make sense for America today?

Washington officials naturally want to believe that their role is essential. Countries which prefer to rely on America are happy to maintain the pretense. However, keeping the United States as guarantor of the security of Japan—and virtually every other populous, prosperous industrial state in the world—is not in the interest of the American people.

The days when Uncle Sam could afford to maintain a quasi-empire are over. The national debt already exceeds $13 trillion. America is running a $1.6 trillion deficit this year. Red ink is likely to run another $10 trillion over the next decade—assuming Washington doesn’t have to bail out more failed banks, pension funds and whatever else. Social Security and Medicare have a total unfunded liability in excess of $100 trillion. In short, the U.S. government is piling debt on top of debt in order to defend a country well able to protect itself.

Some Japanese see little danger and correspondingly little need for much defense. Others are not so certain. It’s a decision for the Japanese people.

North Korea’s military abilities remain uncertain and its aggressive intentions remain unpredictable. Prime Minister Hatoyama cited “the current situation in the Korean peninsula” as a reason to maintain the base on Okinawa.

Moreover, China’s power is growing. So far Beijing has been assertive rather than aggressive, but increasingly seems willing to contest islands claimed by both nations. The best way to keep the competition peaceful is for Tokyo to be able to protect itself.

Of course, several of Japan’s neighbors, along with some Americans, remain nervous about any Japanese military activity given the Tokyo’s wartime depredations. However, the Japanese people do not have a double dose of original sin. Everyone who planned and most everyone who carried out those aggressions are dead. A country which goes through political convulsions before it will send unarmed peacekeepers abroad is not likely to engage in a new round of conquest.

Anyway, the best way to assuage regional concerns is to construct cooperative agreements and structures between Japan and its neighbors. Democratic countries from South Korea to Australia to India have an interest in working with Tokyo to ensure that the Asia-Pacific remains peaceful and prosperous. Japan has much at stake and could contribute much. Tokyo could still choose to do little. But it shouldn’t expect America to fill any defense gap.

The claim is oft-made that the presence of American forces also help promote regional stability beyond Japan. How never seems to be explained. Bruce Klingner of the Heritage Foundation contends: “the Marines on Okinawa are an indispensable and irreplaceable element of any U.S. response to an Asian crisis.” But the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), while packing a potent military punch, actually has little to do.

The MEF isn’t necessary to support manpower-rich South Korea, which is capable of deterring a North Korean attack. The Marines wouldn’t be useful in a war against China, unless the Pentagon is planning a surprise landing in Tiananmen Square to seize Mao Zedong’s mausoleum. If conflict breaks out over Taiwan or various contested islands, America would rely on air and naval units. Where real instability might arise on the ground, only a fool would introduce U.S. troops—insurgency in Indonesia, civil strife in the Solomon Islands or Fiji, border skirmishes between Thailand and Burma or Cambodia.

General Ronald Fogleman, a former Air Force Chief of Staff, argued that the Marines “serve no military function. They don’t need to be in Okinawa to meet any time line in any war plan. I’d bring them back to California. The reason they don’t want to bring them back to California is that everyone would look at them and say, ‘Why do you need these twenty thousand?’”

Do U.S. bases in Okinawa help dampen regional arms spending? That’s another point more often asserted than proven. Even if so, however, that isn’t necessarily to Washington’s benefit. The best way to ensure a responsible Chinese foreign and military policy is for Beijing’s neighbors to be well-armed and willing to cooperate among themselves. Then local or regional conflicts would be much less likely to end up in Washington.

None of this means that the Japanese and American peoples should not be linked economically and culturally, or that the two governments should not cooperate on security issues. But there no longer is any reason for America to guarantee Japan’s security or permanently station forces on Japanese soil.

The Obama administration’s foreign policy looks an awful lot like the Bush administration’s foreign policy. The U.S. insists on dominating the globe and imposing its will on its allies.

This approach is likely to prove self-defeating in the long-term. U.S. arrogance will only advance the point when increasingly wealthy and influential friends insist on taking policy into their own hands. Before that, however, Washington’s insistence on defending prosperous and populous allies risks bankrupting America.

Washington must begin scaling back foreign commitments and deployments. Japan would be a good place to start.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. A former special assistant to President Reagan, he is the author of Tripwire: Korea and U.S. Foreign Policy in a Changed World (Cato) and co-author of The Korean Conundrum: America’s Troubled Relations with North and South Korea (Palgrave/Macmillan).

Network for Okinawa’s Statement on Current Situation with U.S. Base Relocation

June 17, 2010

Network for Okinawa’s Statement on Current Situation with U.S. Base Relocation

June 14, 2010

We, the Network for Okinawa, firmly oppose the Joint Statement of the U.S.-Japan Consultative Committee issued on May 28, in which the two governments confirmed their intention to build a 1,800-meter long runway (or more than one runway portions) at Henoko on Okinawa as a “replacement facility” for Futenma Air Station, and the partial relocation of training to Tokunoshima Island.

The people of Okinawa, after losing 100,000 lives, one quarter of its civilian population in the Battle of Okinawa towards the end of World War II, sacrificed much of their sovereignty, human rights, and freedom during the U.S. military occupation, and still today—38 years after the island’s reversion to Japan. Although Okinawa accounts for only 0.6% of Japanese territory, it hosts 74% of Japan’s U.S. military bases on illegally expropriated land in the prefecture.

The proposed U.S. military base goes against democratic principles, threatens the environment, and does not improve the security of Japan or the United States.

In March, Washington reiterated a pledge requiring local consent before proceeding with construction. Okinawans have opposed and blocked U.S. military expansion on their island in the name of “Futenma relocation” for the past 13 years, and their resistance at present is stronger than ever. In the Mainichi Newspaper poll conducted from May 28 to 30 in Okinawa, 84% of the residents oppose construction of a new base in Henoko. According to this poll, 91% of Okinawans want US bases in Okinawa either reduced or removed and 71% don’t think Marines are needed in Okinawa. On April 25 at the all-Okinawa rally, 90,000 Okinawans; Governor Nakaima; mayors of all the municipalities; members of the prefectural assembly; and all but one members of Parliament representing Okinawa gathered to call for the unconditional closure of Futenma Air Station and to oppose construction of a new base within Okinawa.

On May 16, 17,000 people surrounded Futenma Air Station in a human chain. Villagers have engaged in an ongoing sit-in at Henoko Beach for more than 2,200 days. Even local business leaders, many of whom would profit from base expansion, refuse to sacrifice “Okinawa’s pride, dignity and autonomy” for the economic benefits that the central government would provide to base-hosting communities.

On June 5, Japan’s new Prime Minister Naoto Kan and President Obama held their first phone conference and acknowledged their commonality as former civic activists. In the same conversation, they confirmed their commitment to follow through on the bilateral agreement to build a new base in Henoko, a decision that ignore the overwhelming civic opposition of Okinawa.

We should halt base expansion in Okinawa not only for people’s sake, but for other species and the sea as well. Henoko, where the two countries are planning to build a massive state-of-art military complex to host accident-prone Osprey helicopters, is located on Oura Bay, a unique fan-shaped bay that holds complex and rich ecosystems – those of wetland, sea grass, coral reef, and mangrove that relate to each other and maintain a fragile balance. The combination of forests, rivers and oceans is important to conserving these biodiversity. It is the feeding area of diverse marine animals including the dugong, an endangered marine mammal. In January 2009, a U.S. District Court in San Francisco ruled that the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) had violated the National Historic Preservation Act by failing to “take account” the effects of the base construction on the dugong, as an Okinawan “natural monument” with significant cultural and historic heritage. On April 24, then Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said, “Reclaiming land in Henoko’s ocean would be an act of sacrilege against nature.”

The U.S. Marine Corps presence in Okinawa has no strategic value. The Japan-US Security Treaty does not require Japan to provide bases to U.S. Marines. Rather than protecting Japan or Okinawa, the bulk of the U.S. Marines whose home base is Okinawa are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their training in Okinawa is for a mission that has nothing to do with “protecting Japan,” as many Japanese have been led to believe. Likewise, Marines won’t serve a role that justifies the plan for a massive, environmentally and socially destructive buildup in Guam.

The Network of Okinawa calls on the U.S. president and Japanese prime minister to change the bilateral agreement; return the Futenma land to its owners; and cancel plans to build new military facilities. We urge President Obama to “uphold and extend fundamental rights and dignity” to all Asian people, including Okinawans and beyond, as he declared in the National Security Strategy of May 2010.

June 14, 2010

Network for Okinawa

Consumers Union of Japan: Remove all U.S. bases, scrap Japan-U.S. Security Treaty

June 17, 2010 

CUJ: Annul and Scrap the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and the Japan-U.S. Status-of-Forces Agreement

Resolution to make the best use of Japan’s war-renouncing Constitution, and to request the removal of military bases

On May 28, 2010 the governments of Japan and the United States issued a joint statement outlining the relocation of the Futenma base in Ginowan City to Cape Henoko and the adjoining waters near Camp Schwab in Nago City, Okinawa.

Strong anger was the response to the Democratic Party breaking its election campaign pledge. We also note that it amounted to crushing the will of the people as expressed by the 90,000 that gathered in the prefectural rally on April 25, 2010 in Yomitan Village, Okinawa. The strong reaction to the decision drove Prime Minister Hatoyama to resign from his post.

We strongly request the withdrawal of this joint statement confirming the mutual agreement between Japan and the United States. The Futenma base is located on land that was illegally looted, and should not only be returned, but all installations should be removed.

The Relocation of Futenma is an issue that emerged after the abduction and rape of a 12 year old schoolgirl by 3 U.S. Marines in September 1995. After news of this surfaced, some 85,000 people gathered in a massive protest in October 1995 stating that the base in the city could no longer be endured. At that point, both the Japanese and the U.S. governments were frightened by the anger in Okinawa. In December 1996, they issued a report claiming that the Futenma base would be returned, and the Henoko coastal area of Nago City was chosen as a “replacement facility” were a new military installation would be constructed. This location was already under consideration by the U.S. Navy in 1960. It is now again seen as part of the U.S. military reorganization.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between Japan and the U.S. We take this opportunity to request that the Japanese government should annul and scrap the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and the Japan-U.S. Status-of-Forces Agreement. The reason is that military bases are no longer necessary anywhere.

We thus resolve to make the best use of Japan’s war-renouncing Constitution, and build true peace with all the people in the world, to remove and dismantle the military bases.

Resolution adopted by the participants at the 37th general meeting of Consumers Union of Japan

June 6, 2010

Battleground Okinawa – Global Post video news

May 19, 2010 

Battleground Okinawa

Okinawans surround Futenma Air Base with a 13 km ‘Human Chain'; solidarity demo in Honolulu

May 16, 2010 

Yesterday, tens of thousands of Okinawans surrounded the Futenma Air Base with a Human Chain 13 kilometers long calling for the removal of the U.S. military base. There is video at the Okinawa Times website:

On Friday, 5/14/2010, the Hawai’i Okinawa Alliance held a demonstration in front of the Federal Building in Honolulu in solidarity with the Okinawa action.   Also in support were Fight for Guahan, youth from the Rise Up! Roots of Liberation camp, the American Friends Service Committee, DMZ-Hawai’i / Aloha ‘Aina, Hawai’i Puerto Rican scholar/activist Tony Castanha, and professors Mari Matsuda and Vincent Pollard.  Also joining the demonstration were TAKAHASHI Masaki and ICHINOSE Emiko, former Peace Boat comrades who were visiting Hawai’i to write a book about the “hidden” history of occupation, militarism, corporate tourism and genetic engineering in Hawai’i.

Okinawa Base Issue: Full-Page Ad in Washington Post

April 29, 2010 April 28, 2010 03:14 PM

Okinawa Base Issue: Full-Page Ad in Washington Post

John Feffer

Co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus

It is a rarity that the anti-base movement gets much mention in the mainstream media. So, thanks to the generous contributions of Japanese and American citizens, the Network for Okinawa and the Japan-U.S. Citizens for Okinawa Network took out a full-page ad in The Washington Post today.

“Would You Want 30 Military Bases in Your Backyard?” reads the headline of the ad. “The new base would damage the health and safety of people and threaten a unique ecosystem that contains many rare species. This includes the Okinawan dugong, an endangered cousin of the manatee.”

The sponsors of the ad want to send a message to the Obama administration that a significant number of Americans support Okinawan concerns about the environmental and social consequences of U.S. military bases on the island. The ad challenges the prevailing consensus in Washington that the Futenma base is essential to U.S. national security.

The full-page ad coincides with a letter sent to President Obama and Prime Minister Hatoyama, signed by more than 500 organizations, that demands the immediate closure of Futenma and the cancellation of plans to relocate it to Henoko Bay.

To sign the individual petition and send a letter to your elected representatives, visit the Close the Base website. And follow the Network for Okinawa on its Facebook page.

Follow John Feffer on Twitter here.

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