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"Sit In On The Sea" Screening - May 29, 2007

Pacific Justice and Reconciliation Center
19 North Pauahi Street * Honolulu’s Chinatown
808-741-4612

Japanese Discrimination Against Okinawa Continues by Employing Their Forces Against Civilians
to Accommodate the U.S. Empire and Contractors

“Sit In On The Sea” The 600 Days Anti-Base Struggle in Okinawa, Henoko” – film & discussion with the Hawai`i Okinawa Alliance

The documentary about the Okinawan Resistance to U.S. Military Base Expansion will be shown Tuesday, May 29th, 6:30 pm, Pacific Justice and Reconciliation Center, 19 N. Pauahi Street, Honolulu’s Chinatown.

For ten years and still counting, Okinawan’s have maintained a nonviolent sit-in and protest against the construction of yet another US military facility on pristine reef where endangered species feed & fishermen live, on an island already burdened 20% with harmful, forward-deployment bases. A case study in successful non-violent civil disobedience, this inspiring film gives hope to communities struggling for peace, justice, self-determination & sustainability.

Until the beginning of the seventeenth century, Okinawa flourished as an independent maritime nation among East Asian and Southeast Asian nations. Powermongers have plagued the island due to its location.

During the closing days of World War II, the Japanese Imperial Army fortified Okinawa with the Thirty-second Army in hopes of thwarting the Allied advance on mainland Japan, in effect sacrificing the island.

Okinawa's location continues to be a problematic issue under Japan's contemporary security arrangement with the United States.

Today, Okinawa has come to earn the dubious distinction of serving as a bastion of U.S. military power in the Pacific. The United States has a heavy military presence in Okinawa. Human, ecological and political rights are systematically denied due to the Japanese colonization combined with US military occuapation.

In an attempt to reduce the US military footprint on the island, the United States agreed to return the Futenma air base to Japan once an alternative site is provided. The new site chosen is off Henoko village, on the northeast coast of the main island, in the very location where the Dugong grazes among the seagrass on the seabed.

The plan calls for Japan to build a new military base for American use atop these precious seagrass beds -- effectively destroying the remaining habitat of the gentle dugong in Japan. The 1.5 mile long airbase would also permanently disrupt one of the most biologically diverse areas in the Pacific.

The Dugong is not the only wildlife threatened by the proposed airbase. Other local species facing danger from the base construction include:

Three endangered sea turtles: the hawksbill, loggerhead, and green turtles
Threatened birds, including the Okinawa woodpecker and the Okinawa rail
Several stands of mangrove trees, including some classified as "protected areas" by the Japanese government.

“After the Battle of Okinawa, everything on the land: mountains, villages, pigs & horses--were burned. We could survive because of what we received from the sea. What we can do in return for this blessing is not to destroy the sea.” Yoshikatsu Yamashiro, a fisherman in the struggle

See -“Sit In On The Sea” The 600 Days Anti-Base Struggle in Okinawa, Henoko” –

Participate - in the discussion with the Hawai`i Okinawa Alliance after the film about peace building efforts in Okinawa, Hawai’i & elsewhere and how we can be of support.


from: Wednesday, May 23, 2007, Star-Bulletin Letters
http://starbulletin.com/2007/05/23/editorial/letters.html

Story didn't tell whole story about Okinawa

Mahalo for your May 13 article on the 62 years U.S. military occupation of Okinawa; however, the article missed many crucial facts. The sensationalized 1995 rape was only one of hundreds documented; it merely broke Okinawan patience.
Focusing on Futenma Airbase is dated as its closure was promised and broken for more than a decade. What wasn't mentioned is its closure was made conditional by U.S. and Japanese governments on relocation within Okinawa; in this case, the construction of huge airstrips into pristine reef to be filled with concrete, jeopardizing endangered species and Henoko village survival. Japanese discrimination against Okinawa continues by employing their forces against civilians to accommodate the U.S. empire and contractors.

For an accurate understanding of what's happening in Okinawa, a free showing of "Sit in on the Sea" will be shown at the Justice & Reconciliation Center, 19 N. Pauahi & Nuuanu at 6:30 p.m., May 29. Witness yourself elders in their 90s leading a decade-long struggle to defend their homeland nonviolently against the continued war.

pete shimazaki doktor
Hawai`i Okinawa Alliance

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