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Japanese citizens Open Letter to President Elect Obama

January 16, 2009 by kyle

Concerned Japanese citizens send an open letter to President Obama

“Are you reviewing and changing Bush-Rumsfeld military posture?”

Dear friends of peace in the United States,

January 16, 2009

We, concerned citizens from the Japanese archipelago, are sending an open letter to Mr. Barak Obama on the occasion of his inauguration as President of the United States, asking him to clarify whether and how far he is going to “change” the Bush administration’s military posture and strategy toward East Asia and the Pacific. More than 100 citizens, many from peace and other social movement groups, have signed it. More are signing now. (The open letter is annexed.)

As we state in our letter, we understand that his promise of “change” is a commitment not only to American citizens but also to people all over the world who suffered under the Bush administration’s destructive actions. In concrete, we are eager to know whether Mr. Obama will fundamentally review and retract the Bush-Rumsfeld’s global military strategy, the so-called Defense Transformation Program, particularly its East Asia and Pacific version centering on the Japan-U.S. military alliance.

The U.S. military presence in East Asia and Pacific region has been drastically reinforced and the Japanese remilitarization accelerated to serve the purposes of Bush’s global and permanent “war on terror” and spurring the Japanese rightists’ drive to glorify the imperial Japanese past and revise the pacifist constitution. What has been done in the past eight years in this respect serves only to destabilize this region and lead to new arms race among the countries involved. The U.S.-Japan military buildup program is met by vigorous and sustained protests of citizens, particularly in areas affected by reinforcement of U.S. bases such as Okinawa, Iwakuni, Yokosuka, Zama and Yokota. Time is ripe for the United States to fundamentally review its military posture and presence in East Asia and the Pacific as well as in the rest of the world.

We have great respect to the wisdom of U.S. citizens who opted for change by electing Mr. Obama President. We hope that you will share our concern, endorse this open letter, and circulate it widely among the change-aspiring American people who voted for Mr. Obama. Our hope is to build a bridge of peace and demilitarization across the Pacific so that a real change will come.

Hikaru Kasahara, For the steering committee of People’s Plan Study Group (PPSG)

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Contacts for your responses and endorsements to the open letter to President Obama ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: People’s Plan Study Group (PPSG), Tokyo Shinseido Bldg.2F, Sekiguchi 1-44-3, Bunkyoku, Tokyo 112-0014 Tel: +81-3-6424-5748 Fax:+81-3-6424-5749 Email: ppsg@jca.apc.org URL: http://www.peoples-plan.org/ English Media: http://www.ppjaponesia.org/ ………………………………………

For details of U.S.-Japan military arrangements made under the Bush administration, please refer:

“Japan’s Willing Military Annexation by the United States — ‘Alliance for the Future’ and Grassroots Resistance” (by Muto Ichiyo) http://www.ppjaponesia.org/ “Okinawa Disagree — A Historic Turning Point in the Struggle for Peace and Dignity” (by Yui Akiko) in /Japonesia Review No.2/, December 2006, published by PPSG “Okinawa’s Resistance Reaches a New Height on Falsification of History and U.S. Bases” (by Yui Akiko) in /Japonesia Review No.4/, March 2008, published by PPSG “From Okinawa — Breaking the Imposed Myth: Permanence of U.S. Bases in Okinawa” (by Yui Akiko) http://www.ppjaponesia.org/ “People of Yokosuka Resists U.S. Nuclear Carrier” (by Yamaguchi Hibiki) in /Japonesia Review No.5/, October 2008, published by PPSG “Rural People Resist U.S. Military Encroachment — From Takae, Okinawa” (by Hikaru Kasahara) in /Japonesia Review No.5/, October 2008, published by PPPSG

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*- An Open Letter to U.S. President Barack Obama

The “Change” You Promised Should Include the Official Dismantling of the Bush-Rumsfeld Neoconservative Military Strategy *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

President Barack Obama The White House Washington D.C. 20500

January 16, 2009

Dear Mr. President:

First, we would like to extend our congratulations on your election as President of the United States of America.

The Bush administration, by conducting wars forbidden under international law, and by taking other unilateralist actions during its eight years in office, has brought immense suffering to the people of the world. We welcome your election as President, as you clearly promised to change what had been done by your predecessor and his administration. We believe that your call for change won the hearts and minds of the American people, particularly the young, inspired them with hope, and rekindled idealism, undoubtedly a great virtue of the American citizenry, beyond color, gender, class and other differences. We heartily welcome your victory.

We nevertheless feel it urgent, as residents of the Japanese archipelago, to remind you, Mr. President, that your promise of “change” should be a commitment not only to American citizens but also to people all over the world who suffered under the Bush administration’s destructive unilateralist actions. We, as people who long to be liberated from the endless war situation created by the Bush administration, are eager to know how you plan to change the global military strategy that it formulated and implemented. In particular, we are carefully watching whether you will dismantle the Bush-Rumsfeld military strategy, centering on the so-called Defense Transformation Program, which bears the indelible hallmark of neoconservatism, and will introduce instead more modest and decent U.S. foreign and defense policies.

We would like to know whether you intend to embark on a fundamental review of the U.S. military strategy along this line.

Specifically, as peace loving citizens of the Japanese archipelago, we expect and request you to bring a fundamental change to the U.S. military strategy in East Asia and the Pacific region.

Under the Bush administration, Japan has been fully integrated into the U.S. global military strategy which is dedicated to the goal of U.S. global domination and serves exclusively the military, political, and economic interests of the United States as defined by the then neocon rulers. In other words, the strategy that Japan was integrated into has nothing to do with Japan’s defense or peace in Asia. Through a series of bilateral arrangements signed from 2005 through 2006, Japan’s Self-Defense Forces, a military force which exists in violation of the Japanese constitution, were placed directly under the U.S. command as auxiliary units to serve Bush’s wars, under the plausible slogan of a “mature alliance.” Under the new agreements, the Japanese and U.S. governments are forcing the construction of new military facilities in Okinawa, and these attempts are being fiercely contested by local people. U.S. military bases are also being reinforced in Japanese mainland cities and towns such as Iwakuni, Yokosuka, Zama and Yokota, but again, local residents are struggling against these moves. By pressing Japan’s rapid militarization and its incorporation into the U.S. global strategy, and thus forcing Japan to revise its pacifist constitution, the U.S. government under President Bush has been blatantly interfering in Japanese domestic affairs. The U.S. has also attempted to turn Guam into a huge U.S. military complex as a cornerstone for the U.S. forces’ global strategic deployment, using Japanese tax money.

The military arrangement thus introduced by the Bush administration is counterproductive, as it not only will fail to bring about peace and security to Asia and the Pacific region, but may lead to an aggravated arms race with China and usher in a new Cold War situation in Asia.

We therefore request that you seriously consider and adopt the concrete proposals articulated below. We believe that the “change” you promised will not be substantiated unless these are met.

  1. Fundamentally review and abolish the bilateral arrangement contained in the “U.S.-Japan Alliance: Transformation and Realignment for the Future” agreed on October 29, 2005 and the related subsequent military arrangements between the U.S. and Japan, and freeze the ongoing construction of military facilities and the transformation of military forces based on the arrangements.
  2. Review and stop the expansion of military facilities in Okinawa and review the presence of U.S. forces in Okinawa with a view to eventually withdrawing them completely.
  3. Abandon the plan for the construction of new U.S. military bases in Guam.
  4. Cease to demand or pressure Japan to revise Article 9 of its constitution. Opt for regional multilateral arrangements for peace in Northeast Asia in the perspective of the withdrawal of the U.S. forces and Japan’s demilitarization and promote a Northeast Asia Nuclear-Free Zone as a first step.

We eagerly await your response to the above proposals.

Sincerely, signed by:

Hokkaido Peace Network Kansai District Collective Action Network Study Group on the United Nation and Japanese Constitution Forum for Human Rights, Justice and Solidarity for Peace Solidarity with Anti-War Military Personnel Buddhists No War Group, Fukuoka Group to Substantiate the Fukuoka Court Ruling on Unconstitutionality of Prime Ministers’ visits to Yasukuni Shrine Action Committee against US-Japan Security Pact No! to Nukes and Missile Defense Campaign EcPeaceClub SPACE ALLIES Asian Pace Alliance (APA) Japan People’s Plan Study Group (PPSG)

Myoukei Nakata, Kentaro Nakata, Tsuneo Takeichi, Megumi Ishibashi, Kenji Kunitomi, Kitarou Wada, , Kazuhiro Nishii, Hideaki Nishiya, Hidenori Ao, Hideyuki Kuroda, Makoto Sakai, Sachiko Kunimitsu, Shizue Hirota, Teramachi Ayumu, Kolin Kobayashi, Shigeki Konno, Yoshikazu Makishi, Hiroshi Kajino, Mitsumasa Ohta, Naoya Arakawa, Yoko Yamaguchi, Yumi Honda, Takashi Ozawa, Fumitaka Miyahara, Makiko Sato, Kaori Suzuki, Koichi Bessho, Asita mo hare – Seiko Ohki, Sachiko Taba, Yukio Kurihara, Masahide Tsuruta, Shutaro Hosono, Yuuko Nakamura, Akiko Inari, Hiroko Taguti, Kiyokazu Koshida, Yukinobu Aoyagi, Yuko Inoue, Mitsue Sugiyama, Hideaki Kuno, Kenji Ago, Kazumasa Igata, Kazuhiro Katou, Tomoko Miyahara, Takao Watahiki, Yuko Inui, Hisashi Senba, Mutsuo Usami, Setsuko Usami, Yumi Kikuchi, Kamiya Fusako, Takako Morimoto, Hiroshi Yoshikawa, Akemi Ishii, Yasuo Kuwano, Kouitirou Toyosima, Yuuichi Aoki, Kenichi Hanamura, Keiko Tanaka, Marie Nakajima, Kimio Oda, Takashi Sano, Hatuko Sano, Tetsuo Matumura, Morioka shingo, Tosiko Kamakura, Toshimasa Sakakura, Keiko Doi, Yasushi Furuya , Keiko Kimura, Masao Kimura, Rosan Daido, Yuzuru Nakazawa, Mieko Iwasaki, Toshiaki Ikeo, Shiro Saka, Kiyoshi Owa, Isamu Nagano, Junko Yamaguchi, Koji Sugihara, Terumi Terao, Noriko Kyogoku, Yasue Tanaka, Ayako Nakanishi, Shu-ichi Satoh, Hikaru Kanesaki, Seiko Miyake, Junko Okura, Sojun Taira (as of January 13, 2009)

 

The date posted here is due to our website rebuild, it does not reflect the original date this article was posted. This article was originally posted in Yonip in January 23rd 2008

 

 

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