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Okinawa Peace Network - Los Angeles
Statement of Solidarity Against Militarism and Violence
April 17, 2001

The Okinawa Peace Network - Los Angeles joins in support with Young Koreans United, GABRIELA Network, Association for Victims of Japanese War Crimes, the Korean Federation of Los Angeles, and others, to protest the Japanese government's recent actions to renege on justice to comfort women, and to erase, glorify, and promote militarism in their national textbooks.

World War II Ended Over Fifty Years Ago, But the Battle of Okinawa Continues Today.

Even in "peacetime", the presence of the military and the violence it creates impacts the daily life of Okinawans and their environment. More than 39 U.S. military facilities, 75% of all bases in Japan, are located in Okinawa. The presence of U.S. military facilities and troops result in continual assaults, rapes, and crimes against Okinawan citizens, particularly women and children. The rape of a young Okinawan girl last month by a member of the Japanese Self Defense force stationed in Okinawa, illustrated that military violence differs little by nationality.

Further, the toxic legacy of military facilities continues to destroy and threaten not only the natural environment, but human health as well. Birth defects, low birthrates, high rates of leukemia and other cancers are increasing with the growing presence of PCBs, noise pollution, and unaddresed military pollution.

The Battle of Okinawa Continues in Japanese History Books.

Since the end of World War II, Okinawans have struggled to demand that Japanese textbooks include accurate accounts of Japanese aggression in Okinawa and in Asia. In 1982, Okinawans filed a lawsuit to demand that the textbooks include references to Japan's aggression in Okinawa that included murder of young children and the forced suicide of families and communities during the Battle of Okinawa that ultimately took the lives of 25% of civilian Okinawans. Then, as today, the Japanese Supreme Court ruled in favor of nationalist and pro-military interests who ignore, distort, and revise important histories of women, children, and victims of militarism who continue to live the daily legacy of World War II.

Today We Wage a Battle for Justice

Together with a coalition of organizations across Southern California, the Okinawa Peace Network demands that:

  • The Japanese government reverses their decision to renege on their promise of justice to comfort women. Further, the Japanese Government Issue a public apology and just compensation to victims of sexual slavery.
  • The Japanese government end their practice of revisionist history by including the histories of military victims - past and present - into textbooks
  • Stop the militarization of Asia by:
    • removing U.S. and Japanese military bases from Okinawa; and
    • preventing Japan from joining the permanent committee of the UN Security Council.






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