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Opposition to the Proposed Offshore Base to be Constructed Near Nago

Dear friends, The following is an information and appeal on Japanese campaign against a new US base construction in Okinawa. This is an initiative suggested by Japan Peace Conference in Okinawa (Nov. 30 - Dec. 3, Okinawa). We would be grateful if you send us your support & message. Thank you.

In solidarity, Tadaaki Kawata (Japan Peace Committee)

Solidarity & Signature Campaign
"Save Dugong and Peace! No to a new U.S. Base in Okinawa!"
10 March - 28 April, 2000

Peace movements and trade unions of Japan together with Okinawan people will organize a nation-wide campaign, from 10 March to 28 April, 2000, against the construction of a new U.S. marine base at an offshore area of Nago City, Okinawa (southern islands of Japan).

One of the main actions of the campaign is a "Peace Caravan" (a peace march) starting from Nago City on March 10, traveling many cities covering all prefectures of Japan, reaching Tokyo on April 28. Various actions will be held in the cities where "Peace Caravan" will visit.

We would like to promote this campaign with broad international support and solidarity. In the starting rally of the campaign in Nago, March 10, we are going to receive delegates from Republic of Korea (Maehyang-ri, U.S. bombing range) and Puerto Rico (Vieques). At the same time, we are going to carry out signature campaign both domestically and internationally (see attachment).

We are opposed to this plan, because:

- An offshore area of Nago City of Okinawa is habitats of precious species and treasures of living things including Dugong, internationally protected sea mammal. International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) advised in its world assembly in Jordan last October that careful environment assesment should be carried on the planned construction area and all neccessary measures be taken to protect Dugong.

- It would be yet another burden of Okinawan people, who have for long time since the end of WWII been suffering serious problems and damages caused by U.S. bases and military, such as crimes (rapes, murder, etc), accidents, noise, massive pollution/contamination, and numerous other human rights violations. The Okinawan people are eager to eradicate and remove these bases.

- It would be a real threat to peace and security of Asia as well as of the world. This plan is consistent with a policy of the U.S. to secure Okinawa as a stable foothold for military interference and intervention into the Asia-Pacific region well into the 21st century and after. It would also integrate more deeply Japan into U.S. military operation.

We call upon you to support this campaign and to send us signatures and message of yours as well as of your colleagues and friends.

With best regards.

Secretariat of the Campaign
c/o Japan Peace Committee Shiba 1-4-9, Minato-ku, 105-0014
+81-3-3451-6378 (tel) / +81-3-3451-6277 (fax)
e-mail: LPA01156 (at) nifty.ne.jp (office)

Tadaaki Kawata (resp. international contact)
e-mail: kawata-tadaaki (at) nifty.com

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