March 03, 2017
Today (3/2/17) representatives of HOA, Veterans for Peace, Hawai`i Peace & Justice, Amnesty International & Womenʻs Voices, Women Speak met with the Consul of Defense at the Japan Consulate in Honolulu and issued the following statement.
They will share response. Much gratitude to Beatriz Cantelmo Amnesty Intʻl Hawai`i Chairperson for issuing Amnesty Intʻlʻs Statement of Concerns ref: political prisoner Hiroji Yamashiroʻs health & civil rights.
Today, there was also a rally in NYCʻs Japan Embassy, as well as VFP-ROCK members delivering similar statements to Members of US Congress in DC. Letʻs continue this coming together internationally to stand for indigenous communities like Okinawans, as well as Native Hawaiians & Native Americans for human/political/civil rights & genuine security: may the human peace chains that have encircled entire military bases in Okinawa extend across the planet!
March 2, 2017
The Government of Japan
C/o Consulate General of Japan
Attn: Yuri Higashi, Consul of Defense Affairs
1742 Nu`uanu Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii 96817-3201
Aloha Consul Higashi,
A coalition of concerned people within Hawai`i, including the NPOs the Hawai`i Okinawa Alliance (HOA), Veterans for Peace and Hawai`i Peace & Justice are alarmed about the use of force and arbitrary arrests of non-violent peace activists, such as Hiroji Yamashiro, while exercising their human right of peaceful assemblage in Okinawa. We are concerned by the mandated military base construction in Henoko and corresponding helipads at Takae that precipitated Okinawan citizens to assemble in the first place, for the following reasons:
* It is undemocratic. The people of Okinawa have unequivocally expressed their opposition to more military facilities, given they already suffer under disproportionate military stationing on their congested island. Governor Onaga- elected by a landslide, along with the Mayor of Nago City, all five National Diet members from Okinawa and no less than 80% of the Okinawan people according to innumerable polls are united across parties in opposition to these top-down government mandates. Forcing these projects against the will of the citizenry flaunts a blatant disregard for the democracy and rights the US and Japanese governments claim they protect.