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29 July 2016

US Marine helipad construction drives precious forest and human destruction, We'll "Try Everything" to stop that!

It is happening in Takae district, Higashi Village, Okinawa Island Prefecture, southernmost tropical region in JAPAN. The population of the prefecture is about 1.4 million. 3 hour flight from Tokyo. Kind of remote from main 4 islands of Japan. It is like Hawaii in U.S.

 

okinawa,military,human rights

In exchange for return of some portion of US Marine training area indicated in dark red, they demanded building 6 new helipads in the forest near Takae district (circled area), residence of 150 people. The locals have been fighting against the construction project for years. They set tents at gates of construction sites as barricades.  

 

okinawa,military,human rights 

okinawa,military,human rights

If the new helipad construction is completed, their residential area would be surrounded by helipads of ospreys that cause bigger noise and more frequent accident occurance than helicoptors because of defects of the structure.

okinawa,military,human rights

Helipads for ospreys are bigger than helicopters and destroy bigger areas of the forest. The forest is where endangered birds such as Yanbarukuina and Noguchigera inhabit. Not just forest destruction but big noise and heat waves can potentially threaten their lives. The heat waves ospreys release burn grasses on the ground.

 

2 of 6 helipads N4 were completed already and have been used even though the agreement states new ones would be used after all of them are completed. Then what happened is noise level of Takae district rapidly increased, tens of times more than before. 11 year-old boy got sick and had to evacuate from his local community.

Okinawa had been occupied by US military force between 1945, end of Pacific War and 1972. During Vietnam war, Takae residents were used as VetCon target in the simulation training by the military. Agent Orange may have been sprayed there.

Even after return to Japan, US military bases have remained based on US-Japan defense treaty, agreements between two soreveign nations. In 1996, US and Japanese governments agreed to return some areas of the bases to former land owners and Okinawan communities. But return plans come with relocation plans. Even the military occupied areas is shrunk, the base function gets bigger by providing new bases. Other case is Henoko-Oura bay sea located seaside of Camp Schwab landfill project for the relocation of Futenma base. A beautiful coral sea, where endangered specie, marine mammal dugongs inhabit. This issue have been discussed many time on this blog. Please check articles in Okinawa tag. This article is a good description of the issue.

okinawa,military,human rights

These plans have been met with local protest. Majority of locals dissapprove the plans. Governor of Okinawa Prefecture, Onaga and mayors of Nago city, where Camp Schwab is located, majority of Okinawa prefectural assembly members and all elected members of Japan's parliament from Okinawa constituencies express objection to the landfilling and new base construction plan. As for Takae, last week the construction work resumed, Okinawa assembly made a resolution that the construction should be halted.

Okinawans are fighting against US military and Japanese government that follows its demands.

Last week Japanese government dispatched hundreds of police officers from mainland to suppress local protestants that kept on sit-in at the gate of N1 construction site. Their sit-in protest was once dissolved and their tents and cars as barricades were taken away forcibly but the protest still continued.  

 

Civil activists from all over Japan, and around the globe are backing this. Even in Tokyo, protest activities are going on. Mainstream media reported these events and more people learnt what is going on. Sorry, Americans, more Japanese hate your country.

okinawa,military,human rights 

okinawa,military,human rights

I want to give this song to protestors including myself. "Try Everything" to stop that! The forest is in fact zootopia. There may be monsters like PokeMon! They will "Try Everything" to stop destruction of their world.

22 June 2016

Obama's visit to Hiroshima and Mass shooting in Orlando, Florida

Last month, US president Obama paid visit to Hiroshima and hugged survivor of the atomic bomb which the U.S. force dropped onto the city.

For most Japanese he was very much welcomed because he was the first sitting president who paid visit although he never apologised for the atomic bomb attack.

Many people in the world wondered why Japanese are not so much angry with the U.S. for the atomic bomb attacks.

There are two major reasons. One is we are the one who started the war attacking Pearl Harbour, and the other is we are the aggressor in that period. Before the war between Japan and the U.S., Japan provoked war against China and invaded that nation. In fact, Japan is the first nation that targeted civilians in an enemy state. US modeled after that. Civilian victims in China actually outnumbered that of Japan. So Japan is not a pure victim of the war.

We should have mixed feeling about Hiroshima. Like Germans cannot easily accuse the allied force of atrocities in Dresden that claimed around 20000 lives.

Speaking of mass murder, the mass shooting occurred in Orlando, Florida this month was very shocking. Most of the victims are LGBT Latino people. However, the gunman's motive is still unclear.

Besides that, why is the U.S. still allowing such offenders purchase guns so easily? Even after the shooting US Senate voted down gun control laws. Gun lobbying is very powerful in the U.S.

Seems the U.S. is not the nation that can value human lives. Not just people outside but in their own land.

SO SAD!!

 

23 January 2016

Being Rosa Parks at US Marine Camp Schwab in Okinawa

From last December to beginning of this month, I was in Okinawa to join protest activities of locals who are opposed to construction of new military base runways in US Marine Camp Schwab in Nago city, Okinawa.

Why we are opposed has been described in this blog for years. Please read the posts clicking the tag Okinawa.

Especially, this article gives you outline of what is going on there. My letter to US Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, daughter of JFK.

While I joined the protest, I used picket board that says "We are Rosa Parks."

history,military,okinawa

Rosa Parks as you may know, is the symbol of refusal to unjust matters. A Black woman who refused to give front seat to white passengers in a bus and was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, 1955. But her action sparked bus boycott protest led by Dr. Martin Luther King. 9 years later, civil rights Act was passed. A year after that, Dr. King led peaceful march from Selma to Montgomery to call for enactment of voting rights bill. Black people in the Southern states were blocked at voting registration office.

What surprised me was marines reaction to the picket board. Young marines looked positive. I asked one security guard, who was a young white man inside the camp premise, if he knew what it meant. He said smilingly "I know what it means." One Black man driving a car looked at me, smiled and gestured his support. "Rosa Parks" is known to every American.    

I saw the movie, "SELMA" after I got back home in Tokyo. It was a great movie. I found how hard it was for him to do this. A lot of people were hurt and even killed. But he and his followers never gave in.

Interesting thing to know was Dr. King was a very smart man so that he once retreated the march to avoid bloodshed by local police. He filed lawsuit against the Alabama state that bans peaceful march. Then the court made an order to allow the march. He prevailed.

Just like Rosa Parks and Dr. King. we did peaceful protest at the gate of Camp Schwab. Sit-in-protest at the gate that construction vehicles passed through.

Police came and took us from the gate. We never foughtback but just kept sitting down on the ground. I was carried by the police from shoulders to toes.

history,military,okinawa

Protestants do every day. It has been going on for years. There were several injuries and arrests. But we still keep doing this. We cannot stop the construction but at least we are delaying that. We will never give in.

While I joined in the sit-in protest, I really felt like Rosa Parks, Dr. King and their followers in their times. We may be backed up by their souls. 

Thank you, Dr. King and Ms. Rosa Parks. I am proud of being part of this protest activity.

The US government should hear the voice of protestants and halt such stupid construction project. It is as stupid as segregation laws. It is actually what is happening in your own yard. 

 

15 February 2015

Film"The Butler" Is that a story of Barak Obama?

A story of a man whose father was shot in front of him on the cotton field by a white farmer and later became a house servant of the farmer and then hotel servant and finally was hired by the White House.

It is a fiction but it is based on a real batler who served the White House from 1950's Eisenhower until Reagan's administration.

It was like Black history of America.

How Black people struggled with the oppression and finally be honoured by the society.

Maybe Obama should have experienced similar things.

In order to change the society, people need to be not only brave but also clever. You cannot just fightback. You might have to get along with majority of the society regardless of their unfair treament of you.

It is a fiction but surprising thing was even in the White House, Afro-Americans were discriminated in salary and positions. It was fixed after Reagan's administration 1980's.

I like that part of America's history, not interested in founding fathers.

It is common with current event happening in Okinawa, Japan.

 

Because of that, America is no longer my favourite nation.

I can only feel mutuality with the oppressed Afro-Americans who lived in the past.