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Additional information can be found on the Web at: http://www.afsc.org/nero/nepeace.htm
We are writing to ask you to take a few minutes (or more) to act in solidarity with the people of Okinawa. They have suffered more than fifty years of U.S. formal and informal, nuclear and "conventional" military occupation.
Since 1995, when 85,000 Okinawans demonstrated to call for the withdrawal of U.S. troops and bases, and the referendum the following year in which Okinawans voted to rid themselves of U.S. bases, Washington and Tokyo have been laboring to pacify Okinwans by reconsolidating several U.S. bases - not removing them. The U.S. is also pressing to violate the nuclear free port of Kobe and to bring nuclear capable warships into the port of Hiroshima!
The U.S. is also preparing to expand its presence in Okinawa by building a massive new air base, designed to last for 200 years, in the small Okinawan community of Nago. Washington and Tokyo have turned up the pressure by scheduling the July G-8 summit in Nago. They are betting that short-term summit-related employment and longer term "development" funds will bribe and silence the Okinawan people. We appeal to you to act in solidarity with the people of Okinawa, Kobe and Hiroshima.
PLEASE SIGN OUR PETITION (below or on our Web site at http://www.afsc.org/nero/pesp/okinpet.htm ), and PLEASE CONSIDER SENDING IT TO FRIENDS or circulating it in other ways. We will release the petition and signatures shortly before the summit when their impact will be greatest, both here in the U.S. and in Okinawa.
An illustrated FACT SHEET with background about the continuing U.S. military occupation of Okinawa and the campaign to bring nuclear capable warships into Kobe and Hiroshima can also be found on our Web site at http://www.afsc.org/nero/pesp/okinfact.htm or we can mail you hard copies at your request.
Thank you for your consideration and solidarity Joseph Gerson Director of Regional Programs
Petition of Solidarity with the People of Okinawa, Kobe and Hiroshima
The U.S. with the help of the Japanese government is in the process of reconsolidating its military position throughout Asia. In Okinawa, the plan to "transfer" Futenma Air Base to Nago City is a pretext to enlarge its military capabilities to accommodate a seaborne state of the art air base to serve as the home of the Osprey and as a base for other U.S. warplanes. The new base is designed to last for 200 years and is being built against the expressed will of Nago and Okinawan voters. It will augment U.S. foreign military interventions throughout northeast Asia, against China, across the south Pacific, and as far as the Middle East.
The U.S. government is also campaigning to subvert the nuclear freedom of Kobe and Hiroshima by imposing "visits" by nuclear-capable warships into their harbors. No U.S. warships have docked in these ports since 1975. The United States government does not speak in our name. U.S. preparations for war - including nuclear war, land seizures, intrusive and dangerous military exercises, sexual and other crimes related to U.S. bases in Okinawa shamefully undermine individual, community, and regional security.
To sign on to the petition, e-mail your name and address to Jgerson@afsc.org , Or send circulated petitions to Boston Okinawa Committee, c/o American Friends Service Committee 2161 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, Mass. 02140, USA