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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 February 13 - 19  > Kakushinkon takes to the streets to protest against U.S. Marine’s rape in Okinawa
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2008 February 13 - 19 [US FORCES]

Kakushinkon takes to the streets to protest against U.S. Marine’s rape in Okinawa

February 16, 2008
As part of protest actions against the recent rape of an Okinawan girl by a U.S. Marine, the National Association for a Peaceful, Democratic and Progressive Japan (Kakushinkon), a national organization promoting solidarity with a wide range of people to achieve common objectives of peace, democracy, and better living conditions, on February 15 took to the streets in Tokyo.

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo took the microphone along with National Confederation of Trade Unions President Ban’nai Mitsuo, New Japan Women’s Association President Takada Kimiko, All Japan Teachers and Staff Union Chair Yoneura Tadashi, National Federation of Traders and Producers Organizations Chair Kokubu Minoru, and Japan Federation of Democratic Medical Institutions President Hida Yasushi.

Pointing out that at least 17 women were sexually assaulted by U.S. servicemen and civilian employees of the military in Okinawa since the 1995 rape case, Shii criticized the Japanese government, saying, “These accused are just the tip of the iceberg. If the government really wants to prevent such crimes, it must take a step forward towards the reduction and removal of U.S. bases.”

Shii also stressed the vital necessity to drastically change the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) by saying, “Under the SOFA, the U.S. forces in Japan enjoy extraterritorial rights. This helps U.S. servicemen justify their arrogance, giving them a sense of being rulers in a colony.”

The “U.S. military realignment” that the Japanese and U.S. governments are imposing on the Japanese people across the country is to further strengthen the functions of Japan’s U.S. bases, the only U.S. bases in which assault troops are based out of the U.S., Shii pointed out.

Shii called on the public to rise up in order to block the strengthening of U.S. base functions, and reduce and eventually remove U.S. bases from Japan.
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