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Tag Archives: human rights

Resistant Islands: Okinawa Confronts Japan and the United States by Gavan McCormack & Satoko Oka Norimatsu

Resistant Islands: Okinawa Confronts Japan and the United States by Gavan McCormack and Satoko Oka Norimatsu will be released by Rowman & Littlefield in July 2012. Resistant Islands offers a comprehensive overview of Okinawan history over half a millennium from the Ryukyu Kingdom to the present, focusing especially on the colonization by Japan, the islands' disastrous fate during World War II, and their subsequent and continuing subordination to US military purpose.

Dialogue Under Occupation conference in Okinawa, Aug 4-8, 2011

Even if you can't attend, please check out the program, website, and blog for the Dialogue Under Occupation conference in Okinawa, Aug 4-8, 2011.

Iejima: an island of resistance: Jon Mitchell traces the roots of Okinawa’s civil rights movement (伊江島:アイランド・オブ・レジスタンス)

As the governor and citizens of Okinawa address the latest U.S. Marine threat to their quality of lives and safety (planned deployment of dangerous V-22 Osprey aircraft in Futenma), Jon Mitchell's look back at the origins of Okinawan resistance to ruthless U.S. military seizure of their property brings home how long Okinawans have struggled for freedom from the violence, injustice, noise, and environmental degradation the U.S. military forces upon their islands. In 1955, 300 U.S. Marines with rifles and bulldozers dragged women and children from their beds, destroyed their homes and slaughtered their goats after they refused to voluntarily leave their farms in Iejima, one of Okinawa prefecture's small islands, to make way for a U.S. bombing range. When the forcibly removed farmers were allowed to return, the Marines forced them to live in tents on barren land. With no crops, they foraged on the margins of the bombing range for shrapnel to sell for scrap, where the Marines shot them. Despite these atrocities, Iejima's farmers refused to succumb to demoralization and defeat. Leader Shoko Ahagon drew up policies inspired by Gandhi to guide their political action: nonviolent resistance and mass demonstrations. This resulted in some concessions and the prevention of U.S. deployment of nuclear missiles on the island in 1966. Ahagon is now known as the founder of the Okinawan civil rights movement.

Citizens’ Network for Biological Diversity in Okinawa: United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Collective Statement

The Citizens' Network for Biological Diversity has posted a Collective Statement delivered in the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, in United Nations Headquarters, New York, 16-27 May, 2011: It was delivered by Asia Indigenous People’s Pact (AIPP) . They joined our efforts and endorsed the statement and also uploaded it on their website. We worked with Shimin Gaikou Centre to create the statement in bringing up Okinawa Issues (US base construction plan in Henoko/Oura bay and six US helipads in Takae) along with Ainu people's issue. We are very happy to have No Helipad Takae Resident Society in our statement.

Ryukyu Shimpo: “Open Letter to Mr. Carl Levin”

In an open letter to Senators Carl Levin and Jim Webb, the Ryukyu Shimpo asks them "to show the true worth of American democracy" and "to respect the will of the people of Okinawa and informs them: "April 28 is the date when the United States and Japan concluded both the San Francisco Peace Treaty and the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty in 1952. With this, Allied Occupation forces withdrew from Japan and Japan attained independence. The San Francisco Peace Treaty determined that Okinawa and Amami Oshima would be separated from the mainland islands of Japan and put under the control of the U.S. military."