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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 August 5 - 11  > Japanese and S. Korean activists in 2020 antinuke World Con agree to collaborate for non-nuclear Northeast Asia
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2020 August 5 - 11 [PEACE]

Japanese and S. Korean activists in 2020 antinuke World Con agree to collaborate for non-nuclear Northeast Asia

August 5, 2020

Activists of labor and civil movements in Japan and South Korea on August 4 in an online event associated with the 2020 antinuke World Conference expressed their determination to join hands for a non-nuclear, peaceful Northeast Asia.

This event, “A nuclear-free, peaceful Northeast Asia and the role of peace movements” was one of the two special forums hosted by the World Conference Organizing Committee. Korean Atomic Bomb Casualty Association President Lee Gu Yeol extended his greetings to those who participated in the forum through streaming services.

Representing the Japanese labor movement, Odagawa Yoshikazu, an advisor to the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren), stated that there is a possibility that seeking to defeat China in the struggle for hegemony, the U.S. Trump administration will force Japan and South Korea to accept more military burdens. He appealed for the need to increase collaboration between labor unions and civil society groups in the two nations in order to put a stop to the struggle for hegemony in Northeast Asia and realize peace and stability in this region.

On behalf of South Korea’s national trade union center, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), Vice Chair Eom Mi-gyeong called for standing in solidarity to create a nuclear-free, peaceful world.

Among other speakers from civil groups and women’s organizations, Fujiwara Hidefumi, a member of the Japan Federation of Democratic Medical Institutions (Min-iren), pointed out that both Japan and South Korea have a military alliance with the U.S., which hampers grassroots efforts in the two nations calling for a peaceful and non-nuclear Northeast Asia. He added that it is necessary for concerned citizens in Japan to work together with their counterparts in South Korea to develop public opposition to any move to enhance the military alliance with the U.S. in each nation.

Oh Kyung-Jin of the Korean Women's Associations United said that the ongoing coronavirus crisis has clearly indicated that in order to protect people’s lives and safety, better social security systems and economic safety nets are vital, and the need is to turn away from military-based security systems.

On this day, in another World Conference-related special forum which was also held online, representatives from anti-base groups in Okinawa, the Philippines, and Guam reported on their activities under the theme, “Solidarity with Okinawa and dismantling of foreign military bases”. Participants in the virtual forum exchanged their views on this topic.

The online forum received a message in solidarity from Okinawa Governor Tamaki Denny.
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