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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 August 16 - 22  > Asian American union adopts resolution opposing US base construction in Okinawa
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2017 August 16 - 22 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Asian American union adopts resolution opposing US base construction in Okinawa

August 21, 2017

A U.S. labor union consisting of Asian Pacific Americans on August 19 at its 14th biennial convention in California adopted a resolution opposing the construction of new U.S. military facilities in Nago City’s Henoko and Higashi Village’s Takae in Okinawa in Japan.

An Okinawan delegation composed of Dietmembers, union activists, and representatives of women’s groups since going to the U.S. on August 16 had been calling on the 660,000-member Asian Pacific Americans Labor Alliance (APALA), which is affiliated with AFL-CIO, to adopt the resolution.

Iha Yoichi, the delegation head and a member of the House of Councilors, expressed his gratitude, saying, “We are grateful to you. This resolution and the solidarity you have shown us will encourage not only the Okinawa governor and the Nago City mayor but also all Okinawans.”

At a workshop with the issue of U.S. bases in Okinawa as the theme, Iha and two other Japanese delegates gave reports.

Iha explained that the Japanese government is planning to claim Okinawa’s emerald green sea near Henoko in order to build a state-of-the-art U.S. military base. He said, “We do not want any more U.S. bases in Okinawa. We’d like each union in the U.S. to lobby local legislators based on this resolution.”

Oshiro Satoru, the secretary general of the Okinawa Peace Action Center, reported that on-site protests have been hampering the base construction so far, and that many people from not only throughout Japan but also other countries now come and join the action to cheer for local protesters. He added, “Okinawans will never give up!”

Takazato Suzuyo, a co-chairperson of the All Okinawa Council, reported on human rights violations since the end of the war, such as sexual assaults by U.S. personnel against local people, children, and even infants. Takazato pointed out that these crimes against humanity are not simply committed by individual U.S. serviceman but are inherent in the structural character of military forces.
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