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HOME  > Past issues  > 2011 November 23 - 29  > Anti-base international forum held in Okinawa
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2011 November 23 - 29 TOP3 [PEACE]

Anti-base international forum held in Okinawa

November 25 & 26, 2011
About 150 Japanese and 16 foreigners from such Pacific areas as Guam, the Marshall Islands, Palau, and the Philippines discussed how to bring about a base-free, nuclear-free, and peaceful Asia-Pacific region at a forum held in Naha City in Okinawa Prefecture on November 24 and 25.

The organizing committee of the Japan Peace Committee and the Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice cosponsored this forum.

On behalf of the organizers, Kasai Kimiyo of the New Japan Women’s Association said, “The world is changing towards working to realize a fair and peaceful world order. Japan should also move to meet this challenge.”

Representing the Guam organization, LisaLinda Natividad said that she hopes to strengthen solidarity with Japanese anti-base activists through interactive discussions.

All the participants vowed to develop Guam-Okinawa solidarity in an effort to establish an Asia-Pacific region without U.S. military bases and without nuclear weapons.

Representing the Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice, Hope Cristobal reported on the islanders’ struggle against the U.S. Pentagon. Micheal Bevaqua expressed his expectations for Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution to play a leading role in bringing peace to the world.

Cara Flores-Mays of the grassroots organization “We are Guahan” presented the tragic history of indigenous Chamorro, the extensive damage inflicted on Guam by the presence of U.S. military bases, and the local struggles against the continuation of U.S. neo-colonial rule over Guam.

Kyle Kajihiro of the Hawaii Peace and Justice reported on the damages to Hawaiian natural sanctuaries and cultural resources as a result of the militarization of Hawaii.

Corazon Fabros of the Nuclear-Free Philippines Coalition said that jobs increased after the 1992 removal of U.S. bases from the Philippines. However, she reported that the 1999 U.S.- Philippines Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) has made possible the re-birth of the U.S. military presence there, allowing about 100,000 U.S. troops to enter into more than 35 states in the Philippines.

Elicita Morei from Palau talked about local efforts to oppose the construction of a U.S. base and protect the natural environment there.

Cheong Wooksik of the Civil Network for Peaceful Korea reported on the anti-base struggle in Jeju Island where the construction of a naval base is planned for the purpose of joint use by the South Korean military with U.S. military forces.
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