In Solidarity with Okinawan People
On behalf the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) I want to express our firm solidarity with Okinawans in their fight for peace and justice, which are in reality also ours to make ourselves free from want and fear. We stand up to support the just cause of Okinawans from our stance to seek to implement the spirit of the United Nations Charter and the ideals of Japan’s Constitution that can be shared by everybody.
I believe that the following two points will contribute, to clarify the Governments of Japan and the USA positions:
1) Japan is not obligated to provide the US Marines with military bases.
In fact, US military bases in Okinawa were illegally expanded and built. Even before acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration on August 14, 1945, land was expropriated while Okinawans were detained in prison camps, and by means of “bayonets and bulldozers” with the start of the Cold War. Such acts are not justifiable even by the law of war, and therefore violate international law. And the Japan-US Security Treaty, which is invoked to paper over these illegalities, establishes that bases are provided to US forces under the conditions that provision is based on the will of the Japanese government, and that it contributes to the security of Japan and the Far East, but the US Marines, owing to the nature of the force, does not help to achieve such purposes, and as such their stationing in Japan lacks justification under the treaty. Furthermore, 75% of US military bases and facilities are concentrated in this one prefecture of Okinawa, and all Okinawans want US bases to be downsized and removed. The principles of democracy, which are recognized universally the world over, do not tolerate troop stationing which goes against the will of the people.
2) In Japan the Constitution’s Preamble and Articles 9 and 98 provide for the right to seek removal of US military bases.
The Japanese Constitution provides that “never again shall we be visited with the horrors of war through the action of government” and recognizes that “all peoples of the world have the right to live in peace, free from fear and want.” It says that the Japanese renounce war, do not maintain “land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential,” and it pledges to faithfully observe “established laws of nations,” which include the law of war and international humanitarian law. From the perspective of this extensive peace design, when at least part of the US forces stationed in Japan are highly problematic to bringing about peace and eliminating “fear and want,” it is possible to exercise one’s legitimate rights, including appeals to the international community, to resolve the matter which is the cause. In view of the situation with US military bases, which is a never-ending stream of aircraft crashes, traffic accidents, crimes, and pollution, it stands to reason that the people of Okinawa Prefecture seek the return of Futenma Air Station, and, with respect for their will, the Japanese government indeed has the right to take the initiative and ask the US government to immediately remove Futenma Air Station.
April 25, 2010
International Association of Democratic Lawyers, IADL
Jeanne Mirer, Esq., President
Osamu Niikura, Secretary-General