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Tag Archives: Sympathy Budget

Int. Women’s Network Against Militarism (IWNAM)’s Statement on Relief & Recovery in Japan: U.S. Should Decline Monies from Japan’s “Sympathy Budget”

Women and womens' organizations that address militarism within regional and global frameworks are a major part of both the Network for Okinawa and Japan-US Citizens for Okinawa Network (JUCON), the Network's partner in Japan. Some of these members include Army Colonel (ret.) Ann Wright; Women for Genuine Security; and Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence. This year, in the wake of Japan's triple disaster and ongoing nuclear catastrophe (the world's most costly industrial accident), the International Women's Network Against Militarism (IWNAM) issued a statement on the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) in support of Japanese taxpayers who, more than ever, are unable to afford the expensive underwriting of U.S. military expansion plans in Okinawa and Guam. In 2009, global military spending was estimated at $1,531 billion, an increase of 6% from 2008 and 49% from 2000. On April 12, 2011, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) will release its calculations of global military spending for 2010. We estimate that this figure could reach $1.6 trillion. We join peace groups, budget priority activists, arms control advocates, and concerned citizens the world over in public demonstrations, solidarity actions and awareness raising events to call attention to the disparity between bountiful global investments in war-making and the worldwide neglect of social priorities. The IWNAM demands that U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration: 1) Decline the Japanese “Sympathy Budget.” 2) End the military build up in Okinawa, Guam, Hawaii and other territories. 3) Stop the justification of militarism in times of natural disasters. 4) Fund alternative jobs that end dependence on militarism.

Gavan McCormack: “Deception and Diplomacy: The US, Japan, and Okinawa”

East Asia scholar Gavan McCormack addresses the US-Japan relationship in light of the following matters: the Mitsuyaku (secret US-Japan diplomacy) brought to light since 2009; the cache of cables from US Embassy Tokyo (and Consul General Naha) to Washington released by Wiki-leaks in May 2011; the December 2010 "confession" by former Prime Minister Hatoyama admitting no real security need for another U.S. military base in Okinawa; the 2011 "Maher Affair"; and the shock waves of recent (2011) shifts in thinking on the Okinawa question at high levels in Washington. In conclusion, McCormack pays tribute to the contribution of Okinawan engaged citizenry in Japanese democratic culture. In a dictatorship, the Henoko "replacement" project could still proceed, with citizens who stood in the way being arrested, beaten, and imprisoned. What the Kan government seems still unable to recognize, but Washington (or at least Senators Levin, Webb, and McCain and General Jones) has begun to concede, is that, at least so long as democratic institutions survive, there is no way to persuade or even to compel the submission of determined opponents, and therefore no way the Henoko project will proceed. After 15 years of struggle, the Okinawa movement has accomplished a signal victory. It has saved Oura Bay. It may be only one step in a struggle that seems to know no end, but it is a hugely significant one.

Okinawa Network for Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) Statement

The Okinawa Network for Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) object to Tokyo's "Sympathy Budget" subsidies to the U.S. military amid an unprecedented crisis caused by earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster. They urge the Japanese and U.S. governments to stop their planned destruction of biodiverse Oura Bay to build a U.S. Marine mega-base and to stop destroying one of the best-preserved areas of Yanbaru Forest to build helipads for jungle training purposes: We urge the US government, as our “Tomodachi" or "Friend”, to decline our sympathy budget, if it truly wishes to help Japan’s recovery and rebuilding. We also urge both Japanese and US governments to stop further militarizing Okinawa: the base construction in Henoko/Oura Bay and the helipad construction in Takae. Please show them your support by posting comments at their website!