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Urgent! Support Kobe people against US pressure
27 February 2002
The people of Kobe urgently need statements of solidarity to support them in their long-standing effort to keep the Port of Kobe nuclear-free. It is especially important at this time when the Japanese government, and in particular the City of Kobe, are under extra pressure from the United States to allow US warships into their ports.
As well as messages from individuals, they are looking for statements from elected officials from local state and federal governments and local municipalities, unions and other community organisations.
Below is a message from Hyogo Council Against A&H Bombs / Hyogo Gensuikyo (Kobe, Japan) outlining the current situation. Please send your message of solidarity asap to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax 00 81 78 371 2427
Request for Messages to the 27th Anniversary Meeting of the Nuclear-free Kobe Formula
This year marks the 27th anniversary of the nuclear-free Kobe Formula. On the 18th of March this year, we will be holding a meeting to celebrate the anniversary and we look forward to receiving messages of support, solidarity and encouragement.
As many of you know, the Port of Kobe insists that any warship entering the port to submit "non-nuclear certification" that there are no nuclear weapons on board. In Japan, only local municipalities have authority over their ports and harbors, which guarantees the Kobe City local government to enforce such a procedure. This is called "Kobe Hoshiki" or nuclear-free "Kobe Formula". US warships have been refused entry for the past 27 years because of their policy not to confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons on their ships. They have been refused entry because they refuse to submit the non-nuclear certification. Before the Kobe Formula, however, 432 US warships entered the port between 1960 and 1974.
Now the United States, in the name of "defense against terrorism", intends to expand its military activities across the whole world. We condemn terrorism but also we believe that, in order to eradicate terrorism, UN-led measures based on international laws and order should be taken, not a US-led war. However, Japanese government, in order to join the US retaliatory war, has sent the Japanese Self Defence Forces abroad, which is a serious violation of the Japanese Constitution. At the same time, the US aims at using all civil ports and harbours in Japan predominantly under the new "Guidelines for Japan-US Defense Cooperation". This is why they attack the nuclear-free Kobe Formula which gets in the way of their plan. Recently the US Ambassador to Japan as well as the US Consul General in Osaka has repeatedly stated that they wish the US warships be allowed to enter the port of Kobe. They want the Kobe Formula to be abondoned. The Kobe Formula, at the NGO's Millennium Forum held in the UN in May 2000, has been stated as a model to be followed by all states. Thus the attack on the Kobe Formula is considered as an attack on world opinion seeking peace and nuclear disarmament.
We fight to keep the Kobe Formula. We fight to extend it to all ports in Japan. We fight for a nuclear-free and non-aligned Japan. Messages of support and encouragement from every corner of the globe have given us courage to continue our fight. Please send us messages of solidarity and encouragement for the success of this year's meeting to celebrate the 27th anniversary of the Kobe Formula. Please ask individuals and organizations to do the same. Messages from elected officials from local state, government and local municipalities are most welcome.
Let us work together to achieve the 21st century free from terrorism, free from nuclear weapons.
With warmest regards, solidarity and support to your every effort for peace,
Shushi Kajimoto (General Secretary),