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Monthly Archives: September 2011

Message from Okinawans to Americans in The New York Times, Sept. 21-23, 2011

The "Urgent Okinawa Protest Advertising Action" will run in The New York Times from September 21-23, 2011, coinciding with Japanese Prime Minister Noda's visit to the United Nations General Assembly. This notice is motivated by a sense of crisis generated by recent moves by the present Japanese administration on the U.S. Futenma airbase issue. The Okinawan people demand the closure and return of the Futenma base and the cancellation of the new "replacement" base at ecologically sensitive Henoko and Oura Bay, habitat of numerous endangered species, included the federally protected Okinawa dugong, a living national monument. Please view the direct message from Okinawans to Americans here. Read more at Okinawa Protest Advertising Action.

Joseph Gerson: Compensating for Decline: Revitalizing U.S. Asia-Pacific Hegemony

In a speech given at the Japan Peace Conference in Sasebo, Japan on Dec. 3, 2010, Joseph Gerson maps U.S. military ambitions in the Asia-Pacific, shedding light on contexts of proposed U.S. military expansion in Okinawa.

Peace in Asia and the Pacific: Alternatives to Asia-Pacific Militarization Conference – Oct. 21 & 22, 2011, American Univ., Washington D.C.

Organizer Joseph Gerson, of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC): Please join us and consider having your organization co-sponsor this uniquely important conference. Even as the Pentagon has been pursuing its Long War across the Middle East and Central Asia, the campaign to contain China has been driving U.S. strategic war planning and military spending. Our movements to prevent war and to address the impacts of the militarization of the federal budget are not prepared to the long term designs of the Pentagon, right-wing and the Military-Industrial-Complex to reinforce and deepen U.S. militarism across the Asia-Pacific.

16 Years after the Abduction-Beating-Rape of a 12-year-old Okinawan Girl by 2 U.S. Marines & a Sailor “just for fun”

On September 4, 1995, 2 U.S. marines and a sailor kidnapped, duct-taped, beat, and <a href='raped a 12-year-old Okinawan girl "just for fun." On September 29, 1995, the three U.S. servicemen were indicted and handed over to Japanese custody. The rape precipitated a temporary crisis in the US-Japan Security Alliance and catalyzed participatory democracy in Okinawa, spurring previously politically inactive people, especially housewives and elders, to challenge U.S. military presence on their small island. Local activism led by the Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence resulted in the historic Oct. 22, 1995 mass demonstration against U.S. bases in Okinawa. In November of the same year, Adm. Richard C. Macke, a four-star admiral and 35-year Navy veteran who was commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, resigned after making this comment at a press conference: "I think it was absolutely stupid, I've said several times. For the price they paid to rent the car, they could have had a girl." However both sexual assaults and prostitution are methods of subjugation, according to Suzuyo Takazato, director of Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence, who stated in 1995: "Prostitution and rape are the military system’s outlets for pent up aggression and methods of maintaining control and discipline – the target being local community women.” Despite the admiral's resignation and expressions of remorse by the White House, rapes of Okinawan women by U.S. troops have continued: In 2001, an Air Force sergeant was arrested for publicly raping a 20-year-old Okinawan woman on the hood of a car. In 2003, military police handed over to Okinawan police a marine who broke a 19-year-old woman's nose and raped her. In 2005, an Air Force sergeant molested a 10-year-old Okinawan girl on her way to Sunday school. He claimed to be innocent, but police found a photo of the girl's naked body on his cell phone. These are just a few of the hundreds of reported sexual assaults by U.S. soldiers in Okinawa. Most military sexual assaults (and other crimes) go unreported. This 1995 report from L.A. Times staff writer Teresa Watanabe graphically reminds us of the sexual violence and emotional trauma that U.S. bases have brought to Okinawa for almost seven decades.