Peace activists discuss ways to increase struggle against Iraq war/occupation and U.S. military bases worldwide

The Japan Peace Conference 2003 opened with an international symposium on January 29 in Naha City, Okinawa, attended by about 150 people, including foreign guests.

The annual peace event, which has been postponed since last November, focused on the struggle against the U.S.-British war and occupation of Iraq and for the removal of U.S. military bases from other countries.

Yves-Jean Gallas (French Peace Movement), noting the fact that anti-war actions are present throughout the world, called for a broader anti-Iraq War movement to be built by setting aside the differences of political party or trade union affiliation.

Takakusagi Hiroshi (Japan Council against A and H Bombs-Japan Gensuikyo) pointed out that the U.S. preemptive attack policy, which has destroyed the international order, is now losing its justification for the war as well as trust from the international community.

Jawad Al-Ali (director of the Oncology Center in Basrah in Iraq) reported how depleted uranium used by U.S.-British forces in the Iraq War are causing cancer among Iraqi children and increases in congenital anomalities.

Joseph Gerson (American Friends Service Committee) emphasized that large demonstrations with millions of Americans as well as other peace efforts "have limited U.S. war making possibilities and will mightily contribute to the eventual withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq."

Ko Yougyoung (National Campaign for Eradication of Crimes by U.S. Troops in Korea) denounced the U.S. forces in Korea for frequently causing accidents and incidents, and exposed the so-called consolidation and realignment of U.S. bases in Korea being carried out without asking residents' opinions. (end)

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