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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 January 24 - 30  > Okinawa and Guam women rally to oppose US military buildup
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2018 January 24 - 30 [POLITICS]

Okinawa and Guam women rally to oppose US military buildup

January 28, 2018
“Closing down all bases is the only solution to U.S. military base issues.” Peace activists determined to achieve this goal in a forum held on January 27 in Tokyo to stand in solidarity with anti-base campaigns in Okinawa and Guam.

This event was co-hosted by Tokyo-based civil groups, One Love Takae and Yuntaku Takae, opposing the construction of U.S. helipads in Okinawa’s Takae distirct. As panelists, together with female Takae residents, three Guam women activists fighting against the U.S. base expansion in Guam spoke at the gathering. They stressed that moving U.S. bases from one place to another within Okinawa or to Guam does not in any way decrease base burdens.

The three Guam women are members of the local group fighting to protect indigenous lands and sacred sites, "Prutehi Litekyan: Save Ritidian" which is working to block the construction of a fire training complex ahead of the planned relocation of the Okinawa-based U.S. Marine Corps to the island. The three activists - Monaeka Flores, Rebekah Garrison, and Stasia Yoshida - visited Okinawa before attending the forum in Tokyo and participated in protest actions, including the Henoko sit-in protest.

Flores reported that the planned new military facility in Guam will have a serious negative impact on precious wildlife, including engendered species, and cultural heritage sites as well as on Guam residents’ source of drinking water. She noted that Guam is similar to Okinawa in regard to the history of forced land seizure to build U.S. military facilities and the lack of respect for local people’s human rights, and expressed her determination to work even harder in solidarity with Okinawans.

Garrison cited the fact that her grandfather participated in the Battle of Okinawa as a soldier and suffered from PTSD, and said that military buildup makes everyone unhappy.

From the No Helipad Takae Residents Society, Ashimine Yukine and Isa Ikuko attended the rally.

Ashimine said, "Let us join hands to remove U.S. bases from across the globe so as to ensure that no one will suffer from base burdens anymore!"

Past related article:
> Guam residents are not welcoming U.S. Marines relocation from Okinawa [March 10, 2009]

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