November 25 – 28, 2006
The Asia-Pacific Consultation of Movements against U.S. Military Bases, Tokyo
A significant step toward the creation of regional anti-base movement linkages
On November 25-28, 2006, around fifty peace activists from the Southeast-East Asia and Pacific region in struggle against U.S. military bases gathered in Tokyo in the first subregional encounter ever held on the specific topic of American military bases. Titled the Asia-Pacific Consultation of Movements against U.S. Military Bases, Tokyo, the gathering was called to facilitate exchange of experiences in anti-base struggles and to work out common strategies to resist and defeat the U.S. defense transformation process that is being carried out to further militarize this region violating the interest of the local grassroots people. It was held also as a sub-regional preparatory step toward the inaugural conference of Global Network to Abolish Foreign Military Bases scheduled in March 2007 in Ecuador.
The Consultation was convened jointly by an ad hoc Japanese national organizing committee composed of about 40 groups and individuals, the Stop the War Coalitions Philippines, and the Focus on the Global South. The Japanese committee comprised anti-base groups based in communities affected by the U.S. base reorganization plans as well as national peace networks. Among the organizing committee members are the progressive trade union-based Peace Forum, National Christian Council of Japan, Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, and the Asian Peace Alliance-Japan. The participants were from Australia, Guam, Hawaii, Okinawa, mainland Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and Mindanao, all dedicated activists fighting against the U.S. military presence. The presence of activists fresh from struggle scenes in Pyongtaek (South Korea), Okinawa, Kanagawa prefecture (Camp Zama, Yokosuka), Yokota (Yokota airbase), Hiroshima-Iwakuni (Iwakuni airbase), and Yufuin (Hijudai exercise ground) as well as Mindanao and Australia made the discussion concrete and down to earth.