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17 April 2008

Dear U.S. Ambassador to Japan

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The United State Ambassador to Japan, J. Thomas Schieffer
Embassy of the United States of America
1-10-5 Akasaka
Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8420

Member of "Boycott on American goods to protest USS "George Washinton" deployment on Yokosuka base" Association

Declaration of "Boycott on American goods to protest USS "George Washinton" deployment on Yokosuka base"


Dear Sir,

American-Japanese relations have already existed for more than 150 years. Along the way there was a war between the two countries, but in the post-war period I believe that good relations have been fairly consistently maintained. In recent days however, an incident has taken place which is shaking up this relationship; it is the deployment of the nuclear aircraft carrier the USS George Washington from August 2008 to the American military base in Yokosuka city, which is not that far away from the capital city, Tokyo. The deployment of this kind of aircraft carrier so as to make its home port within Japanese territory is unprecedented and a warship which is stacked with nuclear reactors is in a manner of speaking a nuclear power plant floating on the sea.

 

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The American Navy has asserted that the nuclear aircraft carrier is safe, but a number of objective pieces of information have proved that its deployment in the national capital region presents a significant danger. For citizens living in the capital region and for the Japanese people, it is very difficult to allow this to happen. I believe it is well known that in Japan confidence in nuclear power itself is comparatively lower than in your country, and recently due to an earthquake the world’s largest nuclear power plant has continued to have operations suspended. Additionally, trust in the American troops stationed in Japan themselves has also fallen due to the deterioration of the environment as well as legal order in surrounding areas. No matter what justification is made by your country’s government, it will not be persuasive. Essentially the American troops stationed in Japan are in a position to protect the lives and property of the Japanese people, but I feel very angry by the fact that they have increased the danger to the lives of Japanese citizens.
 
Therefore, I appeal to the governments of the United States and Japan to stop the establishment of a home port for the nuclear aircraft carrier. Since an agreement has already been reached between both countries’ governments, obviously I realize that it cannot be easily overturned; the purpose of this correspondence is not only to pass on my protests however, but also to notify that until efforts to create a home port are canceled, I will expand the movement to reject the purchasing of American goods.
 
While these actions are those of an individual, in order for them to be not simply my own, everyone will make an appeal in order to have a larger number of people participate. Therefore an association called “BOYCOTT ON AMERICAN GOODS TO PROTEST USS "GEORGE WASHINGTON”deployoment on Yokosuka base" was established. Basically it will be a movement for individuals to not purchase American goods or goods which are involved with American capital from within their consumer spending capabilities. It is a call to not only stop buying American products, but also to withdraw funds from accounts at American capital banks, cancel insurance plans, and stop using restaurants and amusement parks. Action will also be taken to not watch American movies at the theatres or on DVD.

 

You may think that developing a movement to boycott goods in response to the problem surrounding a nuclear aircraft carrier is peculiar, but it is not any different from the boycott on Japanese goods in protest of Japanese whaling in the Antarctic Ocean. If the unreasonable treatment the government of the United States is giving to the Japanese people is considered, as a Japanese person I believe the desire to stop buying goods which have to do with America is a natural sentiment. Of course, this movement is not being carried out with the intention of slandering individual Americans who are living in Japan. The target of this protest is strictly the American government’s decision at this time to establish a home port for the nuclear aircraft carrier.

After the USS George Washington has arrived in Japan in August, I believe that the movement will not stop and naturally the boycott will be expanded. I am sure you are aware that while the carrier is anchored, even without an accident occurring higher levels of radioactivity than usual have been detected. No matter how much the navy denies its connection with the aircraft carrier, it has spread around Japan as a piece of dangerous news in the blink of an eye, and has without a doubt resulted in an increase in distrust against not only the American troops stationed in Japan but also against the American government and the country as a whole. The establishment of a home port for the nuclear aircraft carrier will result its long-term anchoring meaning that that mistrust will earnestly grow, and a warship which bears the name of one of your country’s founding fathers will be considered as a “third atomic bomb” to the Japanese people. This is the extent to which harm will be done to citizens’ sentiments.
This event is the biggest crisis which has faced bilateral relations since the end of the Second World War. It will greatly affect not only military exchanges, but also economic and cultural ones.

Please do not forget that citizens, in addition to political institutions, are important players in the diplomatic process today. This is like "Declaration of Independence" by Japanese citizens.

Sincerely,

 

Please also read this article to know more about the meaning of this movement.

08 April 2008

Boycott American goods to protest permanent deployment of USS “George Washington” in Yokosuka base

The American aircraft carrier USS George Washington, which is scheduled to enter and set anchor in Yokosuka base near Tokyo this year in August, uses highly concentrated uranium fuel and is, in a manner of speaking, “a nuclear reactor floating on the sea”. A nuclear power plant generates electricity by creating steam which turns turbines, whereas a nuclear aircraft carrier uses this power to navigate.

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While the aircraft carrier is anchored the nuclear reactor is not generating power; during that time however the nuclear reactor must be continuously cooled and if an accident or a disaster such as an earthquake were to render the cooling process impossible, a catastrophe caused by the core melting down is capable of occurring. In such a case, the damage caused would cover the entire national capital region. In addition to a large number of people losing their lives, the region would also likely be transformed into an area similar to Chernobyl , where people will not be able to live for centuries to come. For the people living in the capital region, this cannot be allowed.

 

The American Navy insists that the aircraft carrier is “safe”, in spite of the fact it won’t release information regarding the structure of the nuclear reactor due to military secrecy. This kind of talk makes complete fools of the Japanese people.

  

While I was thinking about this, I was casually watching an American movie one day when something occurred to me. The movie was a good one, but I couldn’t help getting irritated by the fact that the country where it was produced was trying to bring a “third atomic bomb” into our country’s capital city. Probably because of this, I stopped enjoying the movie and turned it off halfway through. In addition, I can’t help but detest all things that project the image of America . I once studied in the United States , but even so, when I think of the “American military superpower” insensitively bringing in a nuclear aircraft carrier for its own national interests, I just become disgusted. Of course, the Japanese government who “nobly” accepted this situation is also cowardly and irritating.

 

I thought about whether there was anything I could do. In Yokosuka signatures are being collected to hold a local referendum. In addition, a lawsuit has been filed requesting the suspension of the dredging work which is being done in the harbor in order for the aircraft carrier to anchor. However, these measures are surely not suitable to overcome what has already been decided between the two countries’ respective governments. However I think there is something that can be done at an individual level, and moreover, which involves a greater number of people: the act of not buying American goods.

  

Naturally our everyday lives are filled with American goods including computer softwares I am using, yet we must try as hard as we can to not buy them. I have immediately stopped watching American movies. I am going to withdraw my funds from an American capital bank (Shinsei bank owned by Ripplewood), cancel my insurance (Aflac), naturally I’m going to stop eating at fast food restaurants (McDonald’s) and family restaurants (Denny’s), stop going to amusement parks (Disney Land) and do as much as possible from what’s available.

 

There are some companies who simply borrow American copyrights while conducting their business through Japanese capital; however since they invoke the image of America , they must also become subjects of the boycott. By making this kind of proposal, there will likely be a lot of criticism stating that political and military affairs are being confused with commerce. However if citizens do not display their will through these kinds of means, then there is little chance that they will be able to alter this urgent situation. This is the same as the boycott movement that occurred on Japanese goods amongst Americans who were opposed to the Japanese invasion of China in the lead-up to the Second World War.

 

As is well known, individuals are free to decide which goods to buy and which goods not to buy. From America’s point of view, economic relations with Japan are more significant than military ones. You could even say that America is quite reliant on good economic relations with Japan . In addition, the Japanese government is paying expenses for the American troops stationed in Japan in what it designates an “omoiyari yosan (Simpathy budget)”, or which the U.S. calls “host nation support”.

 

I would also like to suggest the following. Since the anxiety caused by the upcoming permanent deployment of the nuclear aircraft carrier is going to lead to emotional distress and pain, citizens should sue the American navy and its affiliates. It’s not a matter of winning the lawsuit or not. This kind of action would be done to show that citizens are making a stand. If it is recognized that a large number of citizens approve of the boycott on American goods, then they will be forced to deal with the issue. A boycott circle should be symbolically created. If the government doesn’t work, individual citizens will likely be able to provide in its stead.

 

The Cold War is already over, and I do not believe the presence of American troops has the same significance on security that it once did. Recently, troops are only being used for the American militaristic strategy including invasion of Iraq . There is considerable room for negotiation. We individuals, as well as the government, must work on cooling off the “Simpathy budget”.

 

Nevertheless, many Japanese have remained uninterested even though the thought of their country’s capital city facing the threat of radioactivity should leave them restless. A military ally which is supposed to protect Japan could cause it massive destruction. It’s truly humiliating. In reality, it’s being said that the American government also fears the problem of the Japanese people’s sentiments towards the upcoming deployment of the nuclear aircraft carrier. It’s also being said that the names given to other aircraft carriers could bring back images of the atomic bomb, which is why the USS “George Washington” was chosen.

 

While I was studying in the United States however, I was told the following by a Afro-American: “Washington was a hypocrite who was advocating liberty while at the same time owning slaves”. This kind of view also exists. The USS George Washington, as well as the soon-to-be decommissioned standard warship USS Kitty Hawk have both borrowed the name of liberty while being used in a hypocritical aggressive war. Let’s stop lending our land out with such ease to the United States . Isn’t it time that we establish the trend of starting to take a greater responsibility for the defense of our own country? Before saying that the government is unreliable, it’s time that individuals think of how their actions are able to change the principles of politics and diplomacy.

The above is translation of this Japanese article posted on Japan's most famous independent citizen media.

The below is related post. Please also read this.

Do not bring third atomic bomb to our capital.

P.S. I urge American people to boycott Toshiba products because the company received orders to build several nuclear power plants on the U.S. soil.

05 April 2008

"Sicko" Sick society, USA!

I rented a DVD of Micheal Moore's documentary film "Sicko."

The film described how terrible the U.S. medical system is. 50 million of Americans don't have health insurance. Even if you have one, the insurance company wouldn't pay for your treatment by making up technical problems.

Once you get a serious disease, you might bankrupt. Insurance companies and the government don't want to provide national health insurance like Canada, England and France. Of course, in my country Japan does. You government prioritizes money over human lives of the poor people. They say national health insurance is socialist idea that restricts individual freedom.

My opinion for the realities presented in the movie was that America is no longer role model for the world. Such scary society. Spending so much money on invasion of Iraq and other parts of the world, killing innocent civilians outside the country and leaving sick people die inside. Pathetic!

 

Well, I wouldn't say my country is best nor other country in Europe. But USA is trush. I know nice Americans personally but where they come from is sick land.

Recently I've been regretting that I tried to imitate as many things from USA as possible in the past. There are things I should learn from them but they have things I never want to learn from.  

Overall, the country is arrogant, corrupt, and undemocratic society. Who wants to live?

21:50 Posted in Film, un-USA | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: health, documentary

29 February 2008

Rape cases in Okinawa

There have been some rape cases reported in Okinawa island, Japan's southernmost island and prefecutre this month. Actually rape incidents have occurred many times in Okinawa. In 1995 3 marine soldiers raped 12 year-old girl. The Okinawa islanders gathered in the park to protest the U.S. bases. This time they will do that, too. They have done the same things many times in the past.

There are more than 100 of U.S. base facilities in Japan. The biggest ones are in Okinawa. 3 quarters of total of U.S. military facility square footage in Japan is located in Okinawa island. Okinawa is a strategic point for the U.S. so they want to stay as long as they want. Great point for the U.S. invasion of other parts of the world such as Iraq.

The below is the photo I took from the plane over the island. Two big spots are Okinawa's U.S. bases. A runway on the left side is Futenma for marines, and the other one just under the clouds is Kadena for the air force.

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Futenma's marine base is planned to be moved to the other place in Okinawa, Nago-shi, the famous place for Dugong's habitat. San Francisco court ordered the U.S. military not to review the development of that area because Dugongs are endangered species.  

Okinawa had been U.S. territory between 1945 and 1972. Japanese government pays half of the military expense for the U.S. military resided in Japan. Because Okinawa has tens of thousands of marines who are kind of uneducated type of people and Okinawa had been occupied place for a long time after Japan was defeated by the U.S. Okinawas, especially women have become easy target for the American criminals.  

 

Why does Japan need such bases? Simple. Japan is not allowed to have full-fledged military by its constitution. 

 

The U.S. military is just wasting so much of our tax. They do not defend us, rather they are hurting our people, which they should protect. We have to know we should defend our nation by ourselves. We actually have our own military already. So we should amend the constitution to have a full-fledged military force so we do not have to rely on such violent and dangerous soldiers.

Of course, the U.S would continue to be our greatest ally but we have to make our foreign policy including militaristic strategy by ourselves. We should not help the U.S. invade the world and kill innocent people.

For Okinawa, not having military bases make this island safer and more attractive to tourists. Tourism is a major industry for Okinawa. See this photo. It is called Moon Beach. You can't find a beach as beautiful as this even in Hawaii or Florida.

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