Peace For Okinawa Coalition Requests Representative Tulsi Gabbard Stop Okinawa Military Base

 

June 10, 2019 For immediate release

MEDIA ALERT: Peace For Okinawa Coalition Requests Representative Tulsi Gabbard Stop Okinawa Military Base

The Peace For Okinawa Coalition has made a formal request to Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D – Hawaii) to take measures to cease the construction of the military base at Henoko, Okinawa.

Gabbard is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the Readiness subcommittee. She is currently running for President and has been outspoken against regime change and unnecessary wars.

The formal request, made on June 4, comes after months of dialogue between the Peace For Okinawa Coalition and dozens of members of Congress, as well as members of the United Nations and numerous non-governmental organizations.

“This provides Congresswoman Gabbard the opportunity to backup her claims of pursuing peace, diplomacy, environmental protection, cutting unnecessary government spending, looking out for the best interests of troops, and protecting the rights of indigenous peoples,” said Robert Kajiwara, president of the Peace For Okinawa Coalition.

Kajiwara’s petition to stop the base at Henoko has over 211,000 signatures on it, including from celebrities such as Dr. Brian May of the rock band Queen. The U.S. and Japan governments are nevertheless pushing ahead with the construction.

The base at Henoko has long been derided for a number of reasons, including lack of necessity, high costs, structural infeasibility, environmental degradation, danger to U.S. troops, and human rights violations. The indigenous Okinawan people are strongly opposed to the base. In the U.S., opposition to the base has come from both democrats and republicans. The late Senator John McCain referred to it as unnecessary, unworkable, and unaffordable.

“If Congresswoman Gabbard sponsors this bill, it will likely garner her the support of hundreds of thousands of our followers, as well as followers in the many other non-profit organizations that we collaborate with,” said Kajiwara. “Likewise, if she refuses, it will likely garner criticism and even attacks from many who are counting on her to pursue peace, the environment, and indigenous rights.”

Jan R. Weinberg, the Peace For Okinawa Coalition’s Special Advisor on Demilitarization points out:

There are scant references in American media related to the consequences of the United States, through a succession of administrations (Obama and Trump), support for Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s desire to “reinterpret” Article 9 (against the will of the people) of the Japanese Constitution, which had previously served to deter Japan from engaging in offensive military preparedness and engagement. The undue burdened placed on the Okinawan people, who are unnecessarily placed in harms way, is just one result among many, of this nefarious collaboration.”

The letter to Congresswoman Gabbard is attached in full. The Peace For Okinawa Coalition encourages members of the press and the public to contact Congresswoman Gabbard’s office for comment.

 

 


 

Representative Tulsi Gabbard
c/o Dave Chun, Guido Weiss, Jonathan Spangler
1433 Longworth House Office Building

Washington D.C. 20515

June 3, 2019

Dear Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard,

Due to the fact that you are on the Readiness sub-committee of the House Armed Forces Committee, the Peace For Okinawa Coalition requests that you sponsor a bill to stop the construction of the military base at Henoko, Okinawa. We believe that you are the best person to sponsor this bill due to your outspokenness against regime change and unnecessary wars, as well as due to your ability to work on bipartisan issues such as this.

The military base at Henoko is strategically unnecessary since the marines would not be used in the event of a conflict in Asia. This base is catastrophically damaging to the environment, a drain on taxpayer dollars, further exacerbates hostilities with China and North Korea, and most importantly, against the will of the indigenous Okinawan people.

The issues surrounding the Henoko military base are increasing anti-U.S. sentiment in Okinawa, and may very well result in Okinawans demanding a complete removal of U.S. military forces if nothing is done to protect the well-being of the Okinawan people.

Our petition to stop the base has over 211,000 signatures from people who are angry that the U.S. government has so far ignored our calls to stop the construction. The longer the construction continues, the more damage will be done to Okinawa’s environment, as well as to U.S.-Okinawa relations.

The Peace For Okinawa Coalition has received widespread media coverage both nationally and internationally, and if you sponsor a bill to stop the construction of the Henoko military base, it would draw a lot of positive publicity for your presidential campaign, especially since it would back up your claims to pursue peace and diplomacy, cut wasteful government spending, protect the environment, and protect the rights of indigenous peoples. This would ensure most of our 211,000+ signees will support your campaign, and will likely inspire many other peace organizations to do the same, many of whom we are working with.

The base at Henoko would be dangerous for U.S. soldiers due to its poor soil conditions, as well as to its location directly over a major earthquake fault. Supporting this bill to stop the base would also demonstrate your sincerity in looking out for the best interests of the U.S. troops.

We hope you will take this seriously. Please let us know if you have any questions. We look forward to working with you.

Sincerely,

The Peace For Okinawa Coalition

Leadership Team

Circulation: 200,000

Robert Kajiwara

President

Nelson Del Pino

Acting Director / Special Advisor on Public Relations

H.E. Leon Siu

Special Advisor on Human Rights, International Relations, and Indigenous Politics

Jan R. Weinberg

Special Advisor on Demilitarization

Catherine Jane Fisher

Special Advisor on the Rights of Men, Women, and Children

Teiko Yonaha Tursi

New York Area Liaison / Survivor of the Battle of Okinawa

 

 

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Email to Representative Tulsi Gabbard

Dear Representative Gabbard,

I saw this video you put out on social media recently:

I would like to ask you to also stop the genocide against Okinawans that Japan is committing (with help from the U.S.).
One thing you can do to help Okinawa is to please stop the construction of the military base at Henoko, Okinawa. This base is bad for many different reasons that my team and I have spoken in person with several of your advisors (Guido, Dave, and JK) about. Our petition has over 211,000 signatures on it so far demanding the construction be stopped. Roughly 19,000 of those signatures have come from voters in Hawaii. Our supporters have come not only from Okinawans, but from many other ethnic groups as well, such as Japanese, Chinese, Filipinos, Pacific Islanders, and whites.
Though the White House guaranteed a response to our petition within 60 days, we still have not received a response and it is past the 90 day mark. 211,000 people are demanding a response! We ask that you please contact the White House and ask them to respond! And we ask that you please do something to help Okinawa!

Here is a link to our petition:
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/stop-landfill-henoko-oura-bay-until-referendum-can-be-held-okinawa?fbclid=IwAR3_2zBhlPJOr1arCuApky2MtUkXVMD0gz7_kJrwTp7jPGneQnpBXxOiylw

Thank you for your time.
Sincerely,
Robert Kajiwara
Director
The Peace For Okinawa Coalition

Response to Ed Case’s Email about Henoko, Okinawa

Peace For Okinawa Coalition logo

 

April 16, 2019

Dear Representative Ed Case,

Thank you for your response to my inquiry regarding Okinawa. Unfortunately, your response contained numerous errors. First of all, Governor Takeshi Onaga tragically passed away in August of 2018. Your reference to Governor Onaga in the present tense as still being alive is seen as highly disrespectful to the late governor, as well as to Okinawans and supporters worldwide. Okinawa has had a new governor, Denny Tamaki, since September. Second, your response did not actually address any of our inquiries, and was clearly a generic letter that your staff has sent to many people who have inquired about Okinawa. Thirdly, your public comment that you “feel like an Asian trapped in a white man’s body” has further fueled the notion that you are out of touch with most of your constituents.

Over 211,000 people have signed my petition asking for a halt to the construction of the new military base at Henoko, Okinawa. My team and I estimate that around 19,000 registered voters in Hawaii have signed the petition, the vast majority of whom reside in your district, are between the ages of 18-40, and vote democrat. We also have many elderly voters who did not sign the petition due to the requirements of needing internet access and an email address, but who are nevertheless supportive of our efforts. The Okinawan population of Hawaii is over 50,000. Additionally, many non-Okinawan voters, including Hawaiians, Japanese, Filipinos, Chinese, and whites, have supported us.

I visited your office yesterday in Washington D.C., and though your staff were polite, it was clear that they were not taking any legitimate interest in our issues. We have worked in-depth with quite a few Congressional offices, and can easily tell when an office is not taking our issue seriously. Whereas the offices of Senator Hirono, Senator Schatz, Representative Gabbard, and many others, have spent a great deal of time meeting with us and have seemed to take our concerns seriously, your office has not. Other offices have expressed interest in the immediate future of possibly writing a public letter to President Trump asking why he has broken his promise and has not replied to our petition, even though we got over 100,000 signatures in just 10 days.

The carelessness of you and your staff has caused much anger and resentment, and talks of large-scale social media campaigns to ensure you do not get re-elected are already underway.

We sincerely hope you will rethink your interactions with us.

Sincerely,

Robert Kajiwara

Director

The Peace For Okinawa Coalition

contact@peaceforokinawa.org

www.PeaceForOkinawa.org

www.RobKajiwara.com

 

ed case letter 4:16:2019 copy

Governor Denny Tamaki’s Visit to Hawaii

rob and denny copy
Governor Denny Tamaki (left) with Robert Kajiwara (right), at Kaneohe, Hawaii.

Today was a bad day in Okinawa, because the start of a new portion of the landfill of the bay at Henoko has started. This is a continued violation of the Okinawan people, and an environmental tragedy. It is clear that neither the Japan government nor the U.S. government has any respect for Okinawans.

With that being said, I’m really glad that Governor of Okinawa Denny Tamaki took time out of his busy schedule to visit Hawaii. I know it was a sacrifice for him to make this trip, so I’m very appreciative. It was in important visit, because he helped to inspire more people in Hawaii to support Okinawa. He also showed appreciation for those who have already been supporting Okinawa. It’s really important that Uchinaanchu, and supporters, from all over the world continue to network and work together to support one another in protecting the land and sea of Uchinaa.

Thank you to Governor Tamaki for coming! Please come again soon!