Open Letter from Veterans for Peace
To the Honorable Hirokazu Nakaima, Governor of Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Veterans For Peace, a US-based global organization of military veterans and allies, would like to applaud the governor’s efforts in preventing another base to be built in Okinawa and support the stance of the 41 municipal leaders, the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly including Parliamentarians “true to their campaign pledges” in representing the people of Okinawa to lessen the military boot print on the island.
Speaker of the Okinawa General Assembly, Mr. Masaharu Kina’s message “Battle of Okinawa Memorial Day Address” and your Okinawa Memorial June 23rd message “2013 Okinawa Memorial Service for All War Dead Peace Declaration” was included in the program (page 28 and 29) for our 2013 VFP National Convention – Power to the Peaceful.
“We urge the Governments of Japan and the United States to relocate Marine
Corps Air Station Futenma outside of Okinawa at the earliest possible date, and to drastically revise the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement along with other requests.”
We put these statements in our program because we strongly agree. The proposed U.S. military base goes against democratic principles and a people’s right to self-determination. It would destroy an important internationally recognized marine environment. Moreover, it does not improve the security of Japan or the United States of America.
We encourage the Governor to stand his ground by denying the landfill permits in order to leave intact the Oura Bay with its important coral reefs and sea-life for future generations.
We support your request that the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma (in the middle of Ginowan City) stop operation within five years or earlier, and for the USMC Camp Kinser (Makiminato Service Area) in Urasoe City to be returned within seven years or less.
Founded in 1985 Veterans For Peace seeks to change public opinion in the U.S. and the world from an unsustainable culture of militarism and commercialism to one of peace, democracy and sustainability. VFP holds a permanent Non-Governmental Organization seat at the United Nations. It is also the first military veterans’ organization invited to be a member of the International Peace Bureau based in Geneva, Switzerland.
We appreciate your resolve on this issue and will work to support your efforts. Our best wishes during these winter holidays and the coming new year of the horse.
VFP Board Member