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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Obama's Aid to Israel (and others) with Heavy Strings Attached

Hiroshima Peace Institute's Yuki Tanaka starts the new year with a criticism of the foreign aid law, which Obama signed before Christmas 2009, right after he received a Nobel Peace Prize. In this law Israel is required to spend 75% of the aid ($2.7 billion for 2010, and a total of $30 billion in the next 10 years) to purchase arms from the U.S.




最大額の援助を受けるのはイスラエルで、今年、2010年1年間だけで27.7億ドル(ほぼ2600億円)、今後10年間の総額で300億ドル(2兆8千億円余り)という約束です。この援助には条件がついており、援助額の75パーセントをアメリカ生産の武器購入に当てなければならないというものです。言うまでもなく 、これらの武器は主としてパレスチナ人殺傷のために使われます。イスラエルがこの種の「援助」をアメリカから受けるのは今に始まったことではなく、長年続いていますが、オバマ政権の下で実際には増額されています。イスラエルに続く巨額の援助費を受けている国はエジプトで、17.5億ドルですが、これもその大部分がア メリカ生産の武器購入に当てなければならないという、いわゆる「紐付き援助」です。したがって、中近東で紛争のための「武器援助」を行っているのは、ノーベル平和賞を受けたオバマ大統領の政権です。


今年初めてアメリカ政府はパレスチナに「援助金」を交付しますが、その総額わずか5億ドル(45億円余り)のうち、5分の1(すなわち1億ドル)を「保安警備隊」の訓練に当てるということになっています。しかし、その訓練は、イスラエル政府の厳しい監督の下で行われなければならないことになっています。このような「 保安警備」プログラムが実際には全く意味をなさず、すぐに挫折するであろうこと目に見えて明らかです。

イラクとアフガニスタンへの「援助金」は、この海外援助予算からではなく、別枠の予算と防衛費から配布されています。2003年から2009年の間に、イラクには490億ドル(4兆5千億円近く)、アフガニスタンには260億ドル(2兆3千4百億円)という途方もない巨額のお金がつぎ込まれました。しかし、事態は全 く改善されていないどころか悪化していることは周知の通りです。(言うまでもなく、米派遣軍の活動費用はこれとはまた別です。)

2010年度のオバマ政権の「テロ対策予算」は、昨年度予算の10パーセント増で、500億ドル(4兆5千億円余り)です。この予算のうちから核保有国パキスタンに与えられる金額が最も増額され、今後5年間で3倍になる予定です。つい先日の飛行機テロ未遂事件で、ナイジェリア出身の犯人の背後に、イエメンのアルカイ ダ・グループが存在するという情報が流れていますが、そのイエメンに対してアメリカは、昨年、「経済開発ならびに安全対策」のための援助金として4000万ドルを提供しました。にもかかわらず、テロ未遂事件が起きました。今年度のためには、56パーセント増額の6300万ドルにしましたが、テロはテロ対策費の金額を 増やせば防げるという質のものでないことは、あらためて説明するまでもないことです。実は、昨年、イエメンが受けたテロ対策費は、上記の額の上に、ペンタゴンの「1206テロ対策予算」という特別予算から出ている6700万ドルがあります。飛行機テロ未遂事件で、イエメンに投入されるテロ対策予算は、おそらく近日中 に見直されて急増されるのではないかと思います。

こうした膨大な予算の使い方を一見するだけで、オバマ政権の政策が、実際にはブッシュ政権時代の「テロとの戦争」政策と本質的には変わっていないことが分かるはずです。金融危機にもかかわらず、これほど巨額の予算を文字通り湯水のように使い、にもかかわらずますます世界状況を悪化させている米国に対して、なぜ「米軍 再編事業」のために我々が納める税金を使わなければならないのでしょうか。まったく理不尽です。

確かにオバマはこれまで核軍縮ではひじょうに積極的な発言をしてきました。しかし、アメリカの核政策も、間もなく発表される「Nuclear Posture Review」の内容を見てみるまで楽観はできません。



Monday, December 28, 2009

A Beautiful Henoko III

Here is Mr. Toyama. He is the head of the "tent village," where Henoko activists are sitting-in to stop the construction of a new base - V-shaped runways by landfilling the coast of Henoko. Mr. Toyama said to build those runways, they would have to gather almost all the sea sands of the Okinawa Island. Many of the marine lives would be destroyed, and dugongs would lose their feeding grounds.
Yumiko took a photo of this tapestry within the tent. The poem reads,

"At the end of the Battle of Okinawa,

Mountains were burnt. Villages were burnt. Pigs were burnt.

Cows were burnt. Chickens were burnt.

Everything on land was burnt.

What was left for us to eat then?

It was the gift from the ocean.

How could we return our gratitude for the ocean

By destroying it?"

When Okinawan people are talking about Henoko, it is not just about Henoko. They are talking about the whole history of the war and the colonization of the Okinawan islands, by Japan and by the US. The Battle of Okinawa is still very alive in people's minds. I knew of it intellectually, but I really didn't know it. This was the biggest lesson of my week-long stay in Okinawa.

When we should eliminate bases from Okinawa,


See other photos of Henoko at:

A Beautiful Henoko

A Beautiful Henoko II

See Ginowan Mayor Iha's interview (in Japanese and in English) for why we don't need a base in Henoko.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Henoko base is not necessary - a Nihon TV Interview with Mayor of Ginowan (English Translation)

** An updated and improved version of this will be published soon. Please wait for that one if you would like to link or quote from it.

Iha Yoichi, Mayor of Ginowan, appeared in "News 24" of Nihon TV (Nittere) on December 11, 2009. The full text of the interview has been transcribed and translated into English by Peace Philosophy Centre(Dan Aizawa and Satoko Norimatsu). The Japanese version is here. 日本語版はここです。

(For simplicity and clarity purposes, some of the questions by the interviewer have been omitted or integrated into the answers by Mayor Iha. )

English translation of the Interview with
the Ginowan City Mayor Iha Yoichi

News 24, Nihon TV, aired on December 11, 2009
  • Question: As the mayor of Ginowan City, you have to deal with the Futenma Marine Corps Air Station. As mayor you have advocated that the Futenma Base is the world’s most dangerous base and that it should be removed from Ginowan. But you have advocated for the complete removal of the Futenma Base from Okinawa Prefecture, and move it all to Guam. What have you discussed with Tokyo, in regards to this matter?
Iha: I met with the Parliamentary Secretary for Defense Nagashima Akihisa, and I also met with the Vice-Ministers for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Cabinet Office, and I have made my demands. The Futenma problem has really become a problem for the government, but we have mainly focused on the issue of whether or not to move the base to Henoko, in Okinawa. However, the US government has already been writing up plans to move the Futenma Marines to Guam, and the Japanese government has spent $6 billion to help fund the plans.

Regardless of this, the Japanese people, parliament, and the people of Okinawa have never been given a proper explanation of the plans. In the US, a report on the environmental impact of the relocation of the base to Guam has been made public; I want this report to be explained in detail in Japan. I want to request that the problems surrounding Henoko and US bases within Okinawa Prefecture be reviewed. I want to ask why a base is still required in Henoko when most of the Marines in Okinawa are being relocated to Guam, and the Futenma Base itself is going to be moved to Guam.
  • Question: Is a complete relocation to Guam possible? Defense Minister Kitazawa has stated that a complete relocation of facilities to Guam would be impossible; this is different from what you have been advocating. What do you think about the Defense Minister’s comments?
Iha: In the “Roadmap” agreement between the US and Japan (United States-Japan Roadmap for Realignment Implementation), in June of 2006, Futenma’s air capabilities were to be relocated to Henoko, but there was no agreement on relocating the Marine units in Futenma to Henoko. However, just half a year before that agreement was reached, until October of 2005, the agreement (U.S.-Japan Alliance: Transformation and Realignment of for the Future) was that the Marine units would also be relocated to Henoko. But in May of 2006, the US Department of Defense changed their plan and decided that all Marine units in Okinawa would be relocated to Guam.

It is public knowledge that 8,000 Marines will be relocated to Guam from Okinawa, and 9000 of their family members will also be moved to Guam. But the number of the family members is less than 9,000. It is said that it is actually less than 8,000. .

The Japanese government has agreed to build homes for 9,000 family members in Guam. Ultimately the Marine units that will be relocated to Guam will be met with more Marine units from around the world. In the end there will be 10,600 marines going to Guam.
  • Question: Is Defense Minister Kitazawa wrong in that sense?
Iha: What Mr. Kitazawa is saying is about moving Futenma’s air facilities to Guam, and how this does not match with the previous US-Japan agreement. Under the current US-Japan agreement, Futenma’s replacement facilities were to be built in Henoko, but we are not talking about the Marine units when we talk about Henoko, but the airbase facilities.

In regards to moving the airbase however, building a new airbase in Henoko and building a new airbase in Guam are two completely different stories. There are already two airbases in Guam, so it should be impossible to build another. But the reason behind wanting to build an airbase in Henoko was because the first agreement had decided that the Marine units would also be moved to Henoko that is why we agreed to build a new base in Henoko.
  • Question: So why did Defense Minister Kitazawa make a trip to Guam now? What did he want to see in Guam? Don’t you think maybe he went to Guam to see whether or not it would actually be possible to completely relocate US troops in Okinawa to Guam?
Iha: According to the former agreement, the 2005 agreement, only the headquarters for the Marine units would be moved to Guam. The actual combat-ready units would not be moved. This is what the government has explained. Much of the debate regarding the relocation has been based on this information. However, this is a debate surrounding the agreement up to October of 2005, and the situation changed afterwards. Under the 2005 agreement, the headquarters of the III Marine Expeditionary Force were to be moved to either Guam or Hawaii. At that point, there were no talks on relocating any of the other Marine units to Guam.

However, by May of 2006, the US Military had warmed up to the idea of relocating troops to Guam; following this the US Military decided to move all 8,000 marines in Okinawa to Guam. This plan was devised in July of 2006, and we have read the document behind this plan, and it is called the Guam Integrated Military Development Plan. Environmental impacts of this Plan have been examined for the past three years, and on November 20, 2009, EIS/OEIS (Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement) documents have been released.

  • Question: What do you think about Defense Minister Kitazawa’s recent actions and statements?

Iha: We learned some new things from recent events. We learned that the US Marine presence in Okinawa is a strictly tactical post. This means that up until recently the Marines in Okinawa were there so that they could be deployed anywhere. However, this center is now going to be moved to Guam. A small contingent of troops will remain in Okinawa, but this will be for Okinawa alone, and will not be for redeployment to other areas. In the past US troops would be posted to Okinawa and then they would be redeployed to places like Iraq and elsewhere. Okinawa was the center for deployment of troops, but by 2014 troop deployment capabilities will be moved to Guam entirely.

Everyone is thinking about the October 2005 argument, including the media. In other words, everyone thinks that only the headquarters will move to Guam, and that the Marines will stay in Okinawa. However, this is a mistake. I think Defense Minister Kitazawa, by going to Guam, has understood this mistake clearly. He must have had such briefing there. I am pretty sure that he has been informed of the change in the position of Okinawa, though we need to ask him really to be sure. We now understand that the troops in Okinawa are there for tactical reasons, and not strategic reasons.

The official number of US troops in Okinawa is 18,000; however, there are only 11,000 US troops in Okinawa at the moment. From those 11,000 troops, 8,000 will be relocated to Guam. So in the end no more than 3000 troops will be left in Okinawa. However, the Japanese government claims that 10,000 Marines will remain in Okinawa. That gap between 3,000 and 10,000 troops will not be buried. If there’s only going to be a little over 10,000 troops in Guam, how are there going to be another 10,000 troops in Okinawa at the same time?

  • Question: After listening to you speak it has become clear that both Defense Minister Kitazawa and Foreign Minister Okada both lack critical information. How do you think the Japanese government has dealt with this issue so far?

Iha: The biggest problem about this issue is that the US side has failed to explain in detail the Guam relocation plan. There has been no detailed explanation about the situation after the May 2006 “Roadmap,” regardless of the fact that the situation has changed considerably since then.
The Guam Integrated Military Development Plan was set up, and in 2007 the mayors of Okinawa’s central municipalities went to Guam. In Guam, the Okinawa mayors, myself included, were given detailed explanations on where the Marines from Okinawa will go, where the Futenma helicopter units will go, and we were given a detailed explanation on the locations of each of these.

On September 15th, 2008 the US Secretary of the Navy presented, to the House of Representatives, a detailed document on the relocation of troops; particularly on the relocation of so-and-so marine units to Guam.

In June of 2009 the Commandant of the US Marine Corps presented, to the US Senate Committee on Armed Services, a detailed document on the 8,000 marines that will be relocated to Guam. This document assessed the situation of Futenma, and how Futenma had become encroached by local residents and is now located in a highly populated area. The document assesses the problems surrounding Futenma, and the reasons for relocation.
However, the shift in the situation from May 2006 to November of 2009 has not been explained in Japan; it has not been explained in the Diet, and the government has not explained it to the Japanese people.

  • Question: Why don’t the problems surrounding relocation of the base make any progress, why hasn’t the problem been solved yet? Is there an individual or a group that is slowing down the progress; does the Japanese government not want change, or is it the US, or is it the people of Okinawa? Who is slowing down the progress?

Iha: The people of Okinawa are highly opposed to relocating the base from Okinawa simply to another area in Okinawa. It has been 64 years since the war, and 13 years ago, in 1996, there was an agreement. At that time, there was a base relocation plan with a possibility of its removal, but that was rejected. The people of Okinawa are highly opposed to constructing anymore new bases. Okinawa Prefecture comprises just 0.6% of Japan’s land mass, and yet 75% of Japan’s US military instillations are located in Okinawa. The people of Okinawa will not accept a resolution to this problem, where the resolution involves having to remove a base simply to have it restored in another location. , This is unacceptable. This is the greatest opposition, and this is why an inter-prefecture relocation has been opposed so strongly.

  • Question: Is the reason why the Japanese government has been dragging this for so long the strong opposition by the people of Okinawa? Do you think there is maybe some issues over concessions, maybe some parties with interests in the bases?

Iha: That has been said a lot by the media, but we are not debating from that vantage point. However, it has been the government’s position that the U.S. military bases are a necessity under the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, and the government assumed from the beginning that these bases would be in Okinawa. . In other words, the reason why Henoko was chosen, under the previous LDP government, was because it was decided that there would be no other place but Henoko to build a new base and there would be no alternatives in the rest of Japan; in this way the opinions of the people of Okinawa have been trampled upon.

  • Question: Regarding the Environmental Impact Statement from November 2009, on Relocating Marines from Okinawa, you have concentrated on a particular section entitled “Global Alternatives Analysis Summary” (Page 69, Volume1), which rates the candidate locations using three criteria. Could you explain this for us?

Table 1. 4-3. Global Alternatives Analysis Summary (see the Page 69 of this document for the table)

Iha: The reason why it was decided to relocate the Marines from Okinawa started in 2002, when the US began a global realignment of bases. Within this larger picture Okinawa’s Marines were also included and where they should be relocated. When looking for candidates for a replacement location for Okinawa, Guam got top scores, three stars, as a possible candidate for relocation. In fact, Okinawa only got one star.

I am not the one saying that the US should relocate to Guam; it is the US military that is saying that Guam is the best location for relocation. The “Roadmap” has been agreed upon this decision on Guam by the US.

I don’t know if the Japanese government has been given a proper explanation on this US stance on Guam, but regardless of this, the US will go through on its decision to relocate to Guam. Relocating to Guam from Futenma is not to solve the Futenma Problem, but it is part of a larger US strategic military decision. Under my understanding, I believe that the US will begin large scale relocation of Marines from Okinawa to Guam by 2010.

  • Question: So all of this has been released by the US military? So it must not be just you who has looked through and analyzed these documents; the important people from MOFA and MOD must have gone through these documents, and they must have analyzed and reached the same conclusion as yours?

Iha: The problem is that the bureaucrats from MOFA and MOD have not seen these documents. This is the strange thing about Japan. The Japanese government has agreed to spend over $6.9 billion for this relocation, but the Japanese government doesn’t understand the details of this plan, they do not have enough information to make an intelligent decision.

Last week I met Foreign Minister Okada, and he says he has never heard of what I told him. Okada claims that he has not heard from the US about the Environmental Impact Statement, and has not heard about the things I’ve been telling him. So even after I told him, he claims that what I am saying is wrong; he claims that it’s probably wrong. But because I have been presenting about the Environmental Impact Statement and the Guam Relocation, Mr. Okada has decided to reassess what is the correct information, and what is really going to happen.

What Mr. Okada understands is that there are 18,000 Marines in Okinawa. (This number is only the capacity, not the actual number.) There are only 7,000 Marines in Okinawa right now, but Mr. Okada believes that there will be 10,000 Marines remaining in Okinawa (after relocation of 8,000 Marines to Guam). This is what the US has explained to Mr. Okada. So Mr. Okada has no understanding of any other plan, but the one that he has been told. He does not think that Marine’s operational units (in addition to the headquarters) will go to Guam.
This misunderstanding has been going on for the past three years. This plan to relocate to Guam was decided in July of 2006, and the documents were uploaded onto the US Pacific Command homepage. We downloaded this document, translated it, and we analyzed and explained what it was about. This document was the Guam Integrated Military Development Plan.

The detailed plans of relocating to Guam from Okinawa have already been decided three years ago. For example, there is a section on the relocation to Anderson Airbase in Guam, and there are detailed explanations on the exact locations, on the airbase, of where the Marines from Okinawa will be placed. In fact there are detailed explanations on which part of this new base development will be paid for by the Japanese government. This plan has been around for three years, and it was made available to the people of Guam. The US government shared this document with the people of Guam, received all kinds of feedback and comments, and after all this was done the Environmental Impact Statement was made public in November of 2009, after three years of assessing the situation in Guam. If all goes according to plan, this plan to relocate to Guam will be approved by July 30th of 2010.

So it has already come down to the point of actually assessing the plan, and it is no longer about making the plan. Japan has already decided to pay 30 billion yen on the relocation construction, and the US will pay more than $300 million, bringing the total to about 70 billion yen. This allocation of funds has been decided for the 2010 fiscal plan, so construction will begin in 2010. The first units from Okinawa will begin relocating to Guam in 2010 as well. At first it will only be the command elements, but starting from 2010, and then through 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 all units from Okinawa will be relocated to Guam.

  • Question: But the current situation seems to suggest that all these plans may be scratched in the near future?

Iha: No, that is not possible. That will not happen.. The US has decided, not to solve the Futenma Problem, but has decided to build a Marine base in Guam as part of their global strategic plans, and that means that the Marines in Okinawa will be relocated to Guam.
I believe that when information about scratching the plan comes out, it is actually a threat to actually proceed on constructing a base in Henoko. Relocation to Guam will not be scratched. This is because in July, relocation to Guam has already been decided by a treaty, the Guam Treaty. According to this treaty, Japan has agreed to pay $6.9 billion for the relocation; to this the US has agreed to pay $4 billion for the relocation plan and to go through with it. However, construction of a base in Henoko has been completely left out of these talks. It has been revealed in the Diet, that these proceedings do not mean that the US will be obliged to get out of Futenma, but regardless of this the US continues to proceed with its plans on Guam.

  • Question: Do you have anything you must say to the Japanese government?

Iha: I want the government to give a detailed explanation on the relocation to Guam. Japan has agreed to spend a huge sum of money for the relocation, and yet the Japanese government has failed to make a detailed explanation of the relocation plans. The biggest reason for this is because the US government has failed to inform the Japanese government. I want the Japanese government to pressure the US government to give a detailed explanation.

I want an explanation on what kind of units from Okinawa will move to Guam, and I want to know in what form these units will be relocated. After making the above clear the Henoko issue should be reassessed - whether building a base there is really necessary. I believe that there is no need for a base in Henoko.

I believe the information should be revealed to the Japanese people and the Diet. I believe this is the responsibility of the new Hatoyama Government, and that the Hatoyama Government should not proceed with constructing a base in Henoko. I want the Hatoyama Government to solve the Futenma problem and to deal with the relocation of Marines from the whole Okinawa without building a base in Henoko.

  • Question: I get an impression that you are speaking on behalf of all Okinawans, not just as Mayor of Ginowan City, which has Futenma Air Base in it. Have you thought about running for the Okinawa Governer’s election, which will take place in November 2010?

Iha: That is a separate issue. A lot will happen between now and then, but right now I want to focus on solving the Futenma problem.

Nippon TV Interview with Ginowan Mayor Yoichi Iha 宜野湾市長伊波洋一 インタビュー(日テレ News 24)


This is transcription (by Peace Philosophy Centre) of Nippon TV's interview with Yoichi Iha, Mayor of Ginowan City which hosts Futenma Air Station. The interview was aired on December 11, 2009. An English translation is here.

Nippon TV (Nittere) News 24 link to the interview:

日テレの「News 24」に普天間飛行場をかかえる宜野湾市の伊波市長が出演したときのインタビュー(12月11日)の内容をピース・フィロソフィー・センターのスタッフ ダン・アイザワ君がテープ起こししたものです。 英語版はこちらを見てください。

伊波 宜野湾市長のインタビュー























小西: でも今日のところの発言ではそのあたり出てなかったですね。













「Environmental Impact Statement 7
Overseas Environmental Impact Statement
Guam and CNMI Military Relocation
Relocating Marines from Okinawa,
Visiting Aircraft Carrier Berthing, and
Army Air and Missile Defense Task Force
Executive Summary
November 2009」


資料:1.4-3表 移転候補地分析の概要(元の表はここをクリックして69ページを参照)

候補地 判断基準(Criteria)  

      ■同盟及び条約上の要件  ■対処(配備)時間  ■活動の自由
沖縄(現在)                +            -

ハワイ         -          -            +

西海岸(アラスカ等) -          -            +

マリアナ(グアム)  +           +            +

フィリピン        -         +            -

タイ           -         +             -

オーストラリア     -         +             -

シンガポール      -         +            -

韓国           -         +            -











伊波:そうではないんです。私も先週、岡田大臣と話したんですけれども、伊波市長が言ってることは聞いてない、と言うんですよ、アメリカの首脳との会議では。私の言ってることがね、向こうのアセス(Environmental Impact Statement)に対して言ってることは聞いてないというんですよ。






伊波:そうですね。今年の予算としては日本は300億円出してますよ、これに対して(計画書を指差す)、建設費に。アメリカも3億ドル以上出してますので、あわせれば700億(円) ぐらいの予算が2010年会計年度できちんと出ますので工事が始まります。そして2010年から最初の部隊がグアムに移るんですね。司令部が中心になると思いますけれども、出来次第ですね。そして2010年、11年、12年、13年、14年で全部が移るという計画になってます。








(宜野湾市 資料へのリンク



A Beautiful Henoko II

This is the "base" for the activists - the banners say "Stop the New Base Construction!" and "Follow the Prefectural Assembly's Resolution!"
Beyond the fence is the off-limit US military property. People have put colourful pieces of cloth, some with messages. It remind me of the Japanese tradition of omikuji (fortune-telling) or tanabata-matsuri (the star festival in July - people decorate bamboo branches with colourful origami papers on which they write their wishes) . The big banner below says "Sea of Henoko, Sea of Peace." "Inochi wo mamoru kai" ("Protecters of Life") - it is a base for the Henoko activists.
Beach of Henoko.
Henoko shore is divided... one of hundreds of these boundaries and divisions in Okinawa, between military and civilian spaces.
8 years (2,639 days) of action to stop the construction of a new base. On December 25, it was the 2,077th day of sit-in.
What happens if we just jump over.... ?Anybody?

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Beautiful Henoko

Yumiko, Tomo and I went to Henoko, where people have been sitting in for the last eight years to stop the construction of a new U.S. military base. December 25, 2009 - the Christmas Day. The Henoko Beach Cat?
I should have brought my son.
"The seashore is the treasure of all. Please bring garbage home. - Environment and Publish Health Division of Nago City." With the hand-written note, it reas "Please bring bases and garbage home."

"Remove Futenma Base! Stop the construction of a new base in Henoko! " - a teachers' union in Okinawa.

A nature's playground.
The "Tent Village"
I heard that the activists learned to canoe, dive, and drive boats to stop the base construction work.
People come here from all over Japan and abroad to make these statements that they want Henoko to be as quiet and beautiful as it is now. I heard that people have moved from other parts of Japan to protect Henoko.

Activists have been sitting in on the shore of Henoko for over 2,000 days.
I know no matter how long I stay here in Okinawa, I won't be able to fully understand the centuries of oppression, unspeakable horrors of war and the continuing humiliation from the military occupation that Okinawans have gone through.
But I know that I don't have to stay here more than one day to know that we don't need another military base in Okinawa.
If you have any doubt, just come and see for yourself.
Those who need "deterrence" can build a base in their own backyard.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Clinton did NOT call in Ambassador Fujisaki - Part II クリントンは藤崎大使を呼びだしていたりはしない。パート2



Here is from the press conference.

QUESTION: Do you have any readout of the Secretary’s meetings yesterday with the Japanese ambassador? I had heard she called him in to talk about Futenma.


MR. CROWLEY: The – I think the Japanese ambassador came by to see both Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell, stopped by to see Secretary Clinton. During the course of the meeting, the ambassador gave us an indication that they needed more time to work through issues related to the basing agreement. We continue to believe that the current plan provides the best way forward, but we’ll continue our discussions with Japan on this issue.

QUESTION: You said that – “stopped by.” You wouldn’t describe him as being called in on a –

MR. CROWLEY: All right, let me – 
QUESTION: -- day when the government was being closed and --

MR. CROWLEY: He was – I think – my – I mean, he – I don’t think he was called in. I think actually he came to see us.

 Yes.   そうだ。

QUESTION: There were some reports in the Japanese press that the Secretary perhaps took issue with some comments that the prime minister had made in Copenhagen. He said something like she showed understanding, or basic understanding over the Futenma issue. Can you confirm?

MR. CROWLEY: I was with the Secretary in Copenhagen, and she had an encounter with the prime minister in the hallway as they were both moving to meetings. I think they also interacted during the course of a dinner there hosted by the Queen of Denmark. I don’t know, very specifically, what the nature of their discussions were. Obviously, this remains important to us and we will continue to work with the Japanese Government on these issues.

We continue to think that the realignment plan that currently exists is the best way in reducing the burden on Okinawa and – but maintaining our ability to defend Japan and to maintain security in the region. I think the message that Japan gave to us yesterday was just it’s going to take a little more time.

QUESTION: Thank you.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.) P.J., I’m sorry. (Inaudible) question on Futenma. Do you think (inaudible) makes the decision on Futenma issue for the proper timeline for the U.S.?

MR. CROWLEY: As we’ve said many times, the Japanese have told us as late as yesterday that they need some additional time to work through these issues, and we will continue our discussions with them.

QUESTION: And also, (inaudible) the U.S.-Japan relationship?

MR. CROWLEY: I mean, Japan has a new government in place. We understand that transitions can be difficult. We’ve just gone through one of our own. Now, we will continue to work with Japan. And obviously, we have concerns potentially about the impact that this will have on the timeline for implementation of the existing plan, but we will continue to work very closely with Japan to help resolve the questions that it has.

Thank you.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Clinton did NOT call in Japan's Ambassador Fujisaki. クリントンが藤崎大使を呼びだしたとういのは間違い。

Again, from the daily press briefing by U.S. Department of State Assistant Secretary Phillip Crowley, it is clear that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did NOT call in the Japanese Ambassador Fujisaki, as much of the Japanese media reported. Fujisaki came to see Clinton instead. アメリカ国務省は多くのメディアが報道しているような「クリントンが藤崎駐米大使を異例にも呼びだした」という事実はなかったと表明している。

See the conversation between Crowley and Reporter, cited in green below.

Phillip Crowley denied the report and said Fujisaki is the one who came to see Clinton. Anybody who has any sense about things would know that somebody like Clinton, who just had a conversation directly with Hatoyama in Copenhagen, has no reason to call in a Japanese bureaucrat to discuss this issue. She has better things to do with her time. クローリーによると、藤崎大使自身がクリントンに会いに来たのだという。コペンハーゲンで鳩山首相と直接会話したばかりのクリントン氏がどうしてわざわざ日本の官僚を呼びだす理由があるのか。クリントン氏はそこまで暇ではない。

The US repeatedly has expressed their understanding for Japan's need for more time.
We should not get fooled by the media frenzy over the Futenma Air Station relocation issue and their negative campaign against Hatoyama Administration.  米国は日本がもっと時間が必要だということに対する理解を繰り返し表明している。市民は、普天間問題についてのメディアの鳩山政権に対するネガティブキャンペーンにだまされてはいけない。

Satoko Norimatsu 乗松聡子

Here is from the press conference.

QUESTION: Do you have any readout of the Secretary’s meetings yesterday with the Japanese ambassador? I had heard she called him in to talk about Futenma.

MR. CROWLEY: The – I think the Japanese ambassador came by to see both Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell, stopped by to see Secretary Clinton. During the course of the meeting, the ambassador gave us an indication that they needed more time to work through issues related to the basing agreement. We continue to believe that the current plan provides the best way forward, but we’ll continue our discussions with Japan on this issue.

QUESTION: You said that – “stopped by.” You wouldn’t describe him as being called in on a --

MR. CROWLEY: All right, let me --

QUESTION: -- day when the government was being closed and --

MR. CROWLEY: He was – I think – my – I mean, he – I don’t think he was called in. I think actually he came to see us.


QUESTION: There were some reports in the Japanese press that the Secretary perhaps took issue with some comments that the prime minister had made in Copenhagen. He said something like she showed understanding, or basic understanding over the Futenma issue. Can you confirm?

MR. CROWLEY: I was with the Secretary in Copenhagen, and she had an encounter with the prime minister in the hallway as they were both moving to meetings. I think they also interacted during the course of a dinner there hosted by the Queen of Denmark. I don’t know, very specifically, what the nature of their discussions were. Obviously, this remains important to us and we will continue to work with the Japanese Government on these issues.

We continue to think that the realignment plan that currently exists is the best way in reducing the burden on Okinawa and – but maintaining our ability to defend Japan and to maintain security in the region. I think the message that Japan gave to us yesterday was just it’s going to take a little more time.

QUESTION: Thank you.

QUESTION: One more on Japan.

MR. CROWLEY: All right. We have some – we’re – go ahead.

QUESTION: Can I ask on North Korea? Has the U.S. suggested North Korea setting the liaison office in Pyongyang or diplomatic office? Has the U.S. suggested North Korea setting a diplomatic office in Pyongyang?

MR. CROWLEY: You had a briefing last week by Steve Bosworth. I’m not aware that this issue came up.

QUESTION: And one more question on North Korea.


QUESTION: We know that U.S. has been in close consultation with South Korea and other countries to find a way to resume the Six-Party Talk. And South Korean official said today in Seoul that it’s very important to resume the Six-Party Talk before February. And if we fail to do that, the Six-Party Talk could be dead. So is – that timeframe is why you were talking with other countries to resume the talk? Is that the timeframe discussed now?

MR. CROWLEY: There have been a number of times where people declared the Six-Party process dead before. I think those claims of mortality have been premature. As Ambassador Bosworth told you last week, our message to North Korea during his recent visit to Pyongyang was very clear. We want to see North Korea return to the Six-Party process. We thought we had a constructive meeting, but we obviously await a formal indication from North Korea as to what it’s prepared to do.

QUESTION: But you haven’t gotten that indication yet from North Korea?


QUESTION: Can I go to (inaudible)?

QUESTION: (Inaudible.) How do you make sure that the commitments made by these countries – four countries plus U.S.A. are adhered to?

MR. CROWLEY: I’m glad you asked that question. I mean, one of the significant issues when the Secretary arrived on Thursday morning and worked through these issues during the day on Thursday and the President on Friday was, in fact, to make sure that there was a significant verification aspect to the accord. And we think, at the end of the day, through some very intensive dialogue by the President and the Secretary with world leaders, that what emerged from Copenhagen, in fact, have – has the kind of transparency and mechanism so that, in fact, we can have access to data with – not in an intrusive way, but just so we’ll have sufficient transparency and access to data so that everyone can fairly evaluate whether countries are living up to their agreements.

QUESTION: Thank you.

QUESTION: There was a document discovered yesterday in Japan that seems to confirm a U.S. and Japanese agreement over nuclear weapons to be stationed in Japan, a secret pact. Are you aware of this document’s existence and --

MR. CROWLEY: I’ll take the question.


QUESTION: (Inaudible.) P.J., I’m sorry. (Inaudible) question on Futenma. Do you think (inaudible) makes the decision on Futenma issue for the proper timeline for the U.S.?

MR. CROWLEY: As we’ve said many times, the Japanese have told us as late as yesterday that they need some additional time to work through these issues, and we will continue our discussions with them.

QUESTION: And also, (inaudible) the U.S.-Japan relationship?

MR. CROWLEY: I mean, Japan has a new government in place. We understand that transitions can be difficult. We’ve just gone through one of our own. Now, we will continue to work with Japan. And obviously, we have concerns potentially about the impact that this will have on the timeline for implementation of the existing plan, but we will continue to work very closely with Japan to help resolve the questions that it has.

Thank you.

A Year-End Message from Yuki Tanaka (English Version)

Here is a year-end message from Yuki Tanaka, Professor of Hiroshima Peace Institute. The Japanese version is here. 広島市立大平和研究所 田中利幸先生からの年末メッセージですー2009年の総括です。日本語版はこちらです。

2009 End of Year Message
Yuki Tanaka

On May 8 this year, a village called Granai in Farah Province of Afghanistan received heavy air-strikes by U.S. forces. The U.S. claimed that the attack was aimed at Taliban insurgents who were hiding in this village. According to a New York Times report on May 15, “The bombs were so powerful that people were ripped to shreds. Survivors said they collected only pieces of bodies. Several villagers said that they could not distinguish all of the dead and that they never found some of their relatives.” However, the victims of this aerial bombing were not Taliban fighters but civilians. The Afghan government said that 140 civilians were killed and 25 wounded, and that 12 houses were destroyed. According to the above-mentioned report, “An independent Afghan organization, Afghanistan Rights Monitor, said on Wednesday that at least 117 civilians were killed ― including 26 women and 61 children ― drawing on interviews with 21 villagers and relatives of the dead. The group criticized both the Taliban for fighting among civilians, and the United States military for using excessive force.” Amongst the more than 10,000 people at a refugee camp near Kabul there are many people who lost their relatives and friends through similar bombings conducted by the U.S. forces, many of which are now carried out using remote-controlled predator drones.

In his recent Nobel Peace Prize speech, the U.S. President, Barack Obama, said: “security does not exist where human beings do not have access to enough food, or clean water, or the medicine they need to survive. It does not exist where children cannot aspire to a decent education or a job that supports a family. The absence of hope can rot a society from within.” I agree entirely with this view.

On December 27 last year, Israeli forces stared dropping bombs on Gaza and continued their attack on civilians for the following 22 days. Many of the victims of this indiscriminate attack were also children. A recent Guardian report says: “Some children no longer look on their homes as a place of safety, security and comfort. Others don’t even have a home to go to. The Israeli bombardment damaged or destroyed more than 20,000 houses, forcing some families into tents and others into crowding in with relatives.”

In early November this year the United Nations General Assembly voted in favor of the resolution endorsing the Goldstone report, an UN-sponsored report into war crimes committed during Israel’s war on Gaza. The report accuses both Israel and Hamas of war crimes. However, most of the criticism in the Goldstone report was directed towards Israel’s conduct during the offensive, in which human rights organizations say about 1,400 Palestinians - many of them women and children - were killed. (Thirteen Israelis, including three civilians, were killed over the course of the war.) This report was endorsed by the assembly by a margin of 114 to 18.

In the above mentioned Nobel Peace Prize speech Obama also said: “we seek a better future for our children and grandchildren, and we believe that their lives will be better if other peoples’ children and grandchildren can live in freedom and prosperity.” Yet, his government voted against the U.N. resolution, supporting the Israeli government. Unashamedly, the Japanese government abstained.

Thanks to Obama’s efforts, the world situation concerning the popular demand for the abolition of nuclear weapons has changed considerably – for the better – over the last year or so, although the danger of the proliferation of nuclear weapons is actually increasing. Yet, in listening to Obama’s speeches, I find the contradiction between the repetition of a rhetorical and eloquent emphasis on human rights and human dignity and the actual policies that he has so far implemented extremely ironic.

Although I sincerely hope that Obama will narrow the gap between his flowery words and damaging actions in the coming new year, it is my strong belief that it will not be the acts of politicians but our persistent grass-roots daily efforts, which certainly effect the actions of politicians, that will ultimately bring a real change to our world.

As far as the issue of abolishing nuclear weapons is concerned, there are a number of NGOs, such as the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA), who are working hard to establish a comprehensive nuclear weapons convention by providing model conventions. As the world push for the abolition of nuclear weapons is now heightened, we, the citizens of Hiroshima, feel it is time to take effective action and enact an international convention. For this purpose we strongly support movements such as those of the ICAN and IALANA.

However, I believe that, as a step towards the establishment of such a convention, one of the existing international conventions should be fully utilized to quickly criminalize the use of nuclear weapons and other radioactive weapons such as depleted uranium (DU) weapons. In particular, I believe that Chapters II and III of Part IV, Section I “Civilian Population” of the “Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, Signed on 12 December 1977” are extremely useful for this purpose. It is crystal clear that the use of nuclear and DU weapons are a violation of Article 51 (Protection of the civilian population) and Article 55 (Protection of the natural environment) of this Additional Protocol. (Please see the attached copy of the Articles 51 and 55.)

In actual fact, during the process of drafting this Protocol, countries such as Romania, Yugoslavia and North Korea strongly suggested that there should be a provision to name the specific types of weapons of mass destruction to be banned, e.g.: nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. However, due to political pressures from nuclear powers, in particular the U.S., Britain and France, proposals to include such a provision were eventually rejected. The United States declared that ‘nuclear weapons were the subject of separate negotiations and agreements,’ and that ‘the rules established by this protocol were not intended to have any effects on and do not regulate or prohibit the use of nuclear weapons.’ Britain also issued the similar statement and made sure that their policy would not be affected by this Protocol.

It is immediately obvious, on reading the 1977 Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions, that the use of nuclear weapons unquestionably contravenes this Protocol. However, because of the above-mentioned destructive attitude of nuclear powers, we need to include a provision which clarifies the criminality of the use of nuclear, radioactive, chemical and biological weapons as well as all weapons of mass destruction. Thus I would like to propose the addition of a straightforward and simple provision to the Protocol which would make the ban of the use of nuclear weapons a positive international law. It is an extremely simple formula and would therefore not require comprehensive discussion to draft the text of regulation. It only requires the political will of the majority of the nations in the world for it to become possible. Once we succeed in criminalizing the use of nuclear weapons by introducing a simple, new provision, we can start working to draft a separate and more comprehensive nuclear weapons convention, including provisions to ban the production and testing of nuclear weapons.

It is expected that nuclear powers such as the U.S. and Russia will not agree to such a scheme and will refuse to ratify it even if it is endorsed by many other nations. Nevertheless, it should be remembered that once a ban on the use of nuclear weapons becomes a positive international law, it will also serve to regulate the conduct of non-signatory nations.

I feel that the upcoming NPT Review Conference in New York in May next year will be a great opportunity to strengthen the rising popular call for the abolition of nuclear weapons and to make realistic proposals for criminalizing the use of nuclear weapons. To this end, together with the Hiroshima Alliance for Nuclear Weapons Abolishment (HANWA) – the largest nonpartisan anti-nuclear organization in Hiroshima, which includes many A-bomb survivors among its members – I am planning to start campaigning to propose the above mentioned scheme to criminalize the use of nuclear weapons using the 1977 Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions.

Your comments and ideas would be most appreciated.

Best wishes for a peaceful end of year and a happy 2010.

The Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, Signed on 12 December 1977

Art 51. - Protection of the civilian population

1. The civilian population and individual civilians shall enjoy general protection against dangers arising from military operations. To give effect to this protection, the following rules, which are additional to other applicable rules of international law, shall be observed in all circumstances.

2. The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.

3. Civilians shall enjoy the protection afforded by this section, unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities.

4. Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited. Indiscriminate attacks are:
(a) those which are not directed at a specific military objective;
(b) those which employ a method or means of combat which cannot be directed at a specific military objective; or
(c) those which employ a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by this Protocol;

and consequently, in each such case, are of a nature to strike military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction.

5. Among others, the following types of attacks are to be considered as indiscriminate:

(a) an attack by bombardment by any methods or means which treats as a single military objective a number of clearly separated and distinct military objectives located in a city, town, village or other area containing a similar concentration of civilians or civilian objects;

(b) an attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.

Art 55. Protection of the natural environment

1. Care shall be taken in warfare to protect the natural environment against widespread, long-term and severe damage. This protection includes a prohibition of the use of methods or means of warfare which are intended or may be expected to cause such damage to the natural environment and thereby to prejudice the health or survival of the population.

2. Attacks against the natural environment by way of reprisals are prohibited.

Appeal to Hatoyama Government to Close Futenma Immediately and Cancel Henoko Plan 鳩山連立政権に、普天間基地の即時閉鎖・撤去と辺野古移設断念を要求しよう!



平良 修(沖縄・沖縄市、沖縄平和市民連絡会)
木村 朗(鹿児島大学教員)











1 鳩山首相が、米国政府に普天間基地の即時閉鎖と撤去を毅然として要求すること  
2 沖縄の思いに応え、日本政府として辺野古移設を断念すること
3 2010年度予算に普天間移設関連経費を計上せず、辺野古での環境影響評価(アセスメント)関連調査を一切中止すること


 ○ 賛同者になっていただける場合は、大まかな在住の地(たとえば、大分県中津市、和歌山県東牟婁郡太地町)をお知らせ下さい。

 ● 賛同表明の連絡先は次の通りです。

 ※ お名前・おおまかな住所、団体(グループ)名・所在地に加えて、必ず「声明に賛同します」とご明記下さい。なお上記メールアドレスはご賛同の連絡専用です。 

 ▼ 2010年1月末の臨時国会召集まで続けます。

【ご協力のお願い】この共同声明にご賛同のみなさんにお願いします。このメールをみな さんのご友人やお知り合いの方々にご転送下さい。またご関係のメーリングリストやそれぞれのブログ、ホームページでご紹介下さい。どうか、よろしくお願いします。
 ◆〔個人情報の保護について〕 賛同者の氏名や賛同団体名をインターネット上で公表することはありません。ただし賛同件数については、声明提出後、賛同者と賛同団体のみなさんに運動の経過とともに報告します。また賛同件数はインターネット上で公表します。


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Numerous Recounts of Military Sex Slavery Discovered

According to a Kyodo News Agency report on December 20, 2009, The Center for Research and Documentation on Japan's War Responsibility (JWRC) discovered that about 260 documents published between 1990 and 2006, including personal notes written by those who experienced war, had concrete descriptions of "comfort stations" installed throughout different parts of Asia, "comfort women," and other sexual violence in the battlefields. Among those are reports of kenpeitai, or military police officers examining "comfort women" and drawings of "comfort stations."

JWRC went through about 2,000 documents, including battlefield diaries and personal memoirs, stored in the National Diet Library, from March to June this year. These documents were published during 1990's and after, when the former "comfort women" started to call for apologies and compensation from the Japanese government. Chuo University Professor Yoshiaki Yoshimi, who examined those documents points out that there are many specific details reported in these documents, including the deep military involvement with the sex slavery system.

Most of the documents with reference to the "comfort women" are personal memoirs, instead of public documents. Yoshimi suspects there was pressure within veterans' associations for not
speaking out about the issue. The result of this research will be published in the December 2009 and March 2010 issues of "The Report on Japan's War Responsibility," the quarterly journal by JWRC.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Tokyo Meeting In Response to the Racists' Attack on the Korean School in Kyoto [集会報告と御礼]12・19緊急報告会 民族差別を許すな! 京都朝鮮学校襲撃事件を問う

Akira Maeda, a law professor of Tokyo Zokei University reported the meeting held starting at 6 PM, December 19 in Tokyo called "12.19 Emergency Report Meeting: Do not allow racial discrimination - Kyoto Korean school incident." The meeting took place at Tokyo Shigoto Centre in Iidabashi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, in response to the recent incident of this right-wing and xenophobic group zaitokukai's public harassment of a Korean school in Kyoto. According to Akira Maeda, the meeting was attended by about 200 people, and probably 240, including security volunteers. About 30 people could not get in because the room was too full. Following is an English summary of Maeda's report of the meeting (Translation: Satoko Norimatsu). The original text in Japanese is below the translation.

1) A successful meeting
The 10-minute video clip of the incident was played, and the Principal of Kyoto Korean school reported the incident. It was made clear that the claim by "zaitokukai" regarding the use of the public park was ungrounded. Then Maeda explained what hate crime was. Then Kim Donghak, Chair of the Association of Korean Human Right in Japan, presented the historical concept of discrimination against Koreans and against Korean schools. At the end, Shigeru Tokoi, the head of the steering committee of the Human Rights Seminar, suggested what we Japanese must do (Maeda was going in and out to look after the security issue so could not report the details of all the speeches.)

2) Security by Police
On the morning of the 19th, a request for security provision was made to the Kojimachi Branch of the Metropolitan Police Department. The police officer in charge said, "We have already had information about right-wing campaign occurring, so we were going to be there anyway. We will take care of outside of the building. We would like the organizers to take care of inside. Let's have a meeting beforehand."

Police arrived and started to get ready around 3PM. Police and we had a meeting at 4:30PM. We were told that the police would not let the right-wingers enter the building, but a few might still slip in, and that it was our responsibility to eliminate those who disrupted the event. Many police officers were deployed at in front of the building. We were satisfied with the level of security the police provided. After the event, the police officer in charge came and told us that they were leaving, but would still keep an eye on the place as there was a slight possibility that the right-wingers would come back.

The security provided by the Kojimachi Branch of the Police Department was well-controlled and systematic. Their professionalism for protecting the safety of citizens was remarkable. It was unlike the cases in Mitaka and Kyoto.

3) Security at Shigoto Centre
Shigoto Centre, where the meeting was held, looked after the security matter well too. They posted warning posters, their staff members were equipped with handheld microphones and armbands, and the security company increased the staff to five. The employees of the Centre and the security staff patrolled in front of the entrance and in the entrance lobby with firm and controlled manners. They stayed until our meeting was over and made sure everyone left the facility safely. We were so grateful for the devotion that these people showed for our safety.

4) Our own security
At the seminar meeting, we provided our own security measures. The event proceeded smoothly, without the kind of trouble we were expecting. However, several right-wingers did manage to get into the building. There were already a few at 2 PM. By 5 PM, they broke into the hallways and in front of the elevator hall. Some were ranting in the hallway. Two entered the seminar room, but we detected them before the start of the meeting, and asked them to leave. They went back and forth in the hallway, but left without doing anything.

5) Zaitokukai (short for "Zainichi Tokken o Yurusanai Shimin no Kai," meaning "Association of citizens who would not tolerate the privileges of foreign residents." They typically refer to Korean residents in Japan when they refer to "zainichi," or "foreign residents.")

The right-wingers parked their campaign trucks in front of the main entrance of the building, and making loud noises. There were about 30 of them. There were probably about 50 of them in total, including those who were in the building. We were told that they had brought the letter of protest, so we decided to receive it. When the police told the group that we had the intention to receive the letter, they suddenly decided not to submit it. We didn't know what that meant.

6) Gratitude
We had so much support and cooperation from so many people to make this meeting happen. We are grateful for the Kojimachi Branch of Police Department, staff members of Shigoto Centre and their security staff, and those citizens who volunteered to help with security. We appreciate the participants who came from afar on a Sunday evening and shared our determination for not tolerating the Korean school incident. We also apologize for those who could not enter the seminar room. Thanks also to those who sent us the numerous emails of support, and to the people all over the country who condemn this incident and the exclusionist nationalism behind it.

7) What We Should Do Now
There will be a meeting on December 22 held in Kyoto, where the incident happened. There will be activities in Osaka as well.

Racism, racial discrimination and exclusionist nationalism usually manifest in abnormally aggressive behaviours against their targets, and they are at the same time expression of human weakness. The kind of mentality to reaffirm one's sense of superiority by despising, demeaning, and disgracing others is perhaps latent in many of the people. This could explain why the hate crimes committed by this kind of extreme group is effective to a certain extent. If we let this "disease" be as it is now, it might spread across the whole society quickly. We should raise our voices and act so that racism would not prevail.

Thank you everybody.

Akira Maeda





























(前田 朗さんによる報告)

A Year-End Message from Yuki Tanaka (Japanese Version)

Here is a year-end message from Yuki Tanaka, Professor of Hiroshima Peace Institute. An English version is here. 広島市立大平和研究所の田中利幸さんの「年末メッセージ」です。












YouTube のクリスマス曲を送ります。

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Korean School in Kyoto Attacked by Xenophobic Groups

On December 4, 20o9, a Korean school in Kyoto was attacked by members of xenophobic groups.

Youtube video with English subtitles:

"Zaitokukai," the same group as one that sabotaged the exhibit on the "comfort women" issue in Mitaka this summer, is involved with this incident.

See the Kyodo News report below.

I feel enraged to find out such racist acts are being tolerated and not reported widely enough in my country of origin. Can you imagine, if something like this happened in Canada or in the US, what the consequences would be?

Here is the link to the Japan Today news.

They may cut the link soon, so I pasted the whole news below.

(Kyodo News)
> A group of around 10 men yelled ‘‘children of spies’’ through a bullhorn at the main gate of a Korean elementary school in the city of Kyoto earlier this month, sources with knowledge of the matter said Friday. Around 170 children were at the school at the time. Regarding the act as a hate crime, the school will file a criminal complaint against the men with the Kyoto prefectural police next week, the sources said.
> As the school was keeping some of its equipment in a municipal government-controlled park in front of its building, the group went to protest against ‘‘the illegal occupation,’’ according to its leader, Makoto Sakurai.
> Since the school does not have a schoolyard, it uses the park for gym classes. While the municipal government has allowed the school to use the park, the school and neighboring residents were expected to discuss the matter early next year.
> Video footage shot by the school showed some of the men carrying the equipment and asking school officials to open the gate. The officials told the men, ‘‘This is a school,’’ but they yelled, ‘‘This is not a school,’’ and, ‘‘Let’s push Korean schools out of Japan.’’

It is never comfortable for me to dislose these shameful acts happening in my country of origin, but I still do this, because these people need to know they cannot get away with what they are doing and that the international community is watching.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Futenma Air Station Relocation Issue 普天間返還問題

(下の方に日本語解説があります。12月17日付の「きっこのブログ」に日本語の部分が引用されました。また、翻訳家 平和活動家の池田香代子さんのブログにも引用されました。池田さんのブログの方には、私がここで引用しているクローリー国務省次官補の12月15日の記者会見の日本語による要約も出ております。この要約の翻訳はサトウマキコさんによるものです)

Much has been discussed around the Futenma Air Station relocation plan. The Japanese media, from left to right, has been busy creating an impression (i.e. lying) that the U.S. is angry over Hatoyama Administration's indecision. There are numerous examples, but let's look at what happened today, and let's get to the source of it, the daily press briefing of Phillip Crowley, Assistant Secretary of State. Somehow this interviewer, whom Phillip Crowley calls "Matt," is desperate to get some, or any negative response from Crowley as if he would be killed by his wife if he went home empty-handed. Now my question is who that wife is! Anybody who has an idea, let me know.

Japanese media horizontally reported Crowley expressed a firm US Government's attitude to refuse to renegotiate the 2006 accord. He started his answers with "I defer to the Government of Japan..." and ends it with "we are happy to oblige." A 10-year-old would know that this is not about refusal; this is about cooperation. We should replace all the Japanese correspondents in Washington with my daughter's classmates and put those people in the Grade 3 classroom of the elementary school she attends.

日本のメディアは横並びで「海兵隊トップのコンウェー司令官は普天間先送りを「遺憾」」としたと報道している。「国務省のクローリー次官補(広報担当)も同日の記者会見で、移設先修正をめぐる再交渉には応じない考えを重ねて示した。 」(共同)このクローリー氏と「マット」と呼ばれる記者のやり取りを見てほしい。「再交渉に応じない」などとはどこにも書いていない。まず 「I will defer to the Government of Japan to describe its position」(日本政府にその立場を表明することを任せる)と始めている。 2006年「ロードマップ」に沿う意向、引き続き協議を重ねる姿勢、沖縄の問題が複雑で日本側にも時間が必要なことに対する理解を示し、最後には 「We'd be happy to oblige.」 ((日本側がもっと時間が必要というのなら)喜んで従います))とまで言っているのだ。「任せる」から始まり「従う」に終わったこの話のどこから「再交渉に応じない考えを重ねて示す」という、あたかも強硬的な態度を取ったかのような解釈ができるのだろうか。そして、この、何か収穫(日本政府の普天間決定延期に対する否定的な反応)を持って帰らないと奥さんに殺されるといった勢いの記者は一体何者か。その「奥さん」は誰なのか。心当たりのある人は教えてほしい。


Source: US State Department Website

Excerpts from the briefing where Crowley is asked about the Futenma issue and the US reaction to Hatoyama's decision to postpone the decision to mid-2010.

QUESTION: Thank you. I would like to ask about the U.S. base realignment issue in Japan, so-called Futenma issue. The Japanese – the Government of Japan officially made a decision today that not – will not to make a decision sometime and will continue to consider where to relocate. And what is the government’s response of that?

MR. CROWLEY: I mean, I will defer to the Government of Japan to describe its position. We have been in consultations with the Government of Japan on this issue since the new government came into office. I think we had discussions today with Japanese officials and our Ambassador in Tokyo. We will continue to discuss this issue with the Government of Japan going forward.

QUESTION: Just to follow up, Japanese Government is saying that they might decide by next year, May or June, but U.S. officials are saying that they want answer as soon as possible. And also, at the same time, there may be talk of moving those into Guam. Is there any --

MR. CROWLEY: Well, there is an agreement that the United States reached with the previous Japanese government. We still think that roadmap is the best way forward and we’ll continue to consult closely with the Government of Japan as it works its way through this issue.

QUESTION: And also, are you in touch with the regional countries? It might affect them also to move.

MR. CROWLEY: I think that the – our presence of military forces in Okinawa is a manifestation of primarily our U.S.-Japanese bilateral relationship and alliance. Obviously, it does have regional ramifications, but I think that most people continue to appreciate the robust U.S. presence in the region.

QUESTION: Can I just – on this whole thing, is it not a little bit frustrating that it’s taking the Japanese – the new Japanese Government so long to --

MR. CROWLEY: We will continue to work with them. We understand that these are complex issues for them. They’re getting up to speed on a range of issues. I don’t think it --

QUESTION: Well, don’t you think they’ve had enough time to get up to speed on this considering – I mean, Campbell’s been over there how many times?

MR. CROWLEY: A couple.

QUESTION: Yeah. And they’ve had people here. So what’s --

MR. CROWLEY: We’ll continue to work with them.

QUESTION: So you’re prepared to draw this out – you’re prepared to let them drag this out indefinitely?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, we – I mean, we have a roadmap. We’re continuing to plan based on that roadmap, but we’ll continue to have our high-level consultations with the Japanese in the coming weeks and months.

QUESTION: Are you sure you want to use the word “roadmap?” In other contexts – (laughter) – that roadmap really leads to nowhere. So is that what you’re prepared --

MR. CROWLEY: If it leads to Guam. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: No, I’m serious. P.J., I’m serious.

MR. CROWLEY: Matt --

QUESTION: How long are you prepared to let the Japanese drag this out?

MR. CROWLEY: We recognize that our presence in Okinawa has an impact on the people of that island and is of significant importance and interest to the Japanese people. We’ll continue to work with the Japanese Government.

QUESTION: But that doesn’t answer the question. How long are you prepared to let them drag this out?

MR. CROWLEY: Matt --

QUESTION: What? It’s a simple question.

MR. CROWLEY: Let the record show that the spokesman shrugged. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: So you don’t know?


QUESTION: You don’t know? This could go on indefinitely and that doesn’t bother the Administration?

MR. CROWLEY: I wouldn’t characterize this as an indefinite conversation. The Japanese Government has indicated to us that they’d like a little more time to work through these issues and we’re happy to oblige.

("Matt" concedes and after moving onto other topics, he comes back again!)

QUESTION: Can we go back to Japan basement issue? Actually, the Government of Japan is considering to find a new location of Futenma basement, and it is totally different from the (inaudible). And my question is: Can the U.S. --

MR. CROWLEY: Or the planet.

QUESTION: Can the U.S. Government accept that?

MR. CROWLEY: There is an existing plan and it – we think it is the best way forward, but as I said earlier, we will continue to discuss this with the Government of Japan.

QUESTION: Yeah. All of us know that the roadmap is the best plan, but actually, the Government of Japan is considering the new location. So my question is --

MR. CROWLEY: I understand that. And we will continue to discuss the issue with the Government of Japan.