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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chuck Overby in the International March for Nuclear Weapons Abolition on May 2, 2010, Which No U.S. Media Reported

Watch filmmaker Bill Day's 21-minute footage of the May 2 Peace March in New York, by 15,000 people from around the world coming to influence the Review Conference of the UN NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty), including an interview with Chuck Overby, clad as Uncle Sam, saying "I NUKED JAPAN."

The YouTube link was not embeddable, so please go to this link to watch this must-see video.

I have not been able to write as much as I have wanted to, about the amazing week I spent in New York, from April 30 to May 7, to be part of the events associated with the Review Conference of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in New York. One of the highlights of the week was meeting (finally) Chuck Overby, founder of Article 9 Society in the U.S., a former B29 bomber pilot in the Korean War, and now a pacifist and a passionate advocate of Article 9, a war-renunciation clause of the Japanese Constitution. I have posted Chuck's powerful photography and poetry in the last few blogs. Chuck kindly participated in the events I was organizing, like the May 1 workshop "Atomic Bombing and Indiscriminate Bombing against Civilians" as part of the two-day NGO conference at Riverside Church, and the symposium "The Wisdom of the Survivor" held at Pace University on May 4, along with many other NPT-related events, including the Peace March held on May 2, from Times Square to the park in front of the United Nations.

Here is part of an email Chuck wrote to me afterwards:

  • I forgot, one additional item, this one is an attachment that has a "link" to a 21 minute video that a blogger by the name of Bob Day took of the NYC May 2nd NPT protest march from Times Square to the UN. Day saw me at the UN and did a four minute interview with me near the end of the video. The sound and photos of the protest signs that I carried that day are not so clear and good, but you can see 16 minutes of the protest march.

    I was and am still terribly angry and appalled at the obscenity of no newspapers coverage of our May 2nd protest march. I still cannot believe it. My anger and frustration at this 800 foreign military based corporate bottom line dominated profligate global warming consumption empire of ours, the USA -- leaves me sadly frightened. No newspaper in America covered our May 2, 2010, 15,000 person, international NPT protest march.

    This helps me to understand why we in the USA are so stupidly ignorant about most important matters on Planer Earth. I even had our Ohio University Reference Department do a newspaper search for newspaper reports in May 3rd and 4th newspaper across America. They also came up with nothing. Did your Vancouver newspapers cover the NPT protest march?

    In America when some celebrity clown like Tiger Woods gets his penis lost ina non-wifely vagina -- we read, see, and hear about it for months on end, but when 15,000 people do an NPT protest march about something really important for all humanity -- our US media is totally silent. This is mightily frightening, Satoko san -- especially when you look at the US's research and development [R&D] budgets for the DOD [Department of Defense] of 80 billion per year compared to the NSF's [National Science Foundation - non-military R&D] budget of but 6 billion per year.

Well said, Chuck. You are America's conscience and I learn deeply from everything you say and write.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Korea War, 60 Years - Night Vision Collage B-29 and Finlandia, by Chuck Overby 朝鮮戦争60年―B29パイロットだったチャック・オバビーのコラージュ

World War II and Korean War
Boeing B-29 Superfort
70 tons gross weight
10 ton bomb load
23.5 ton fuel load
[6,400 gallons]


Penetrating black voids
in night ahead
brightened with
july fourth-like
works of fire --
Steady on course
into colored holocausts
become hard metal
with rockets red glare --
While below
bombs burst everywhere --
our gifts to “gooks”
and our flag was still there.

© chuck overby; 6/7/78
Korean War B-29 pilot
Founder the Article 9 Society; 3/18/91

Transferring technology to serve the
needs of humans everywhere, killing at
each other -- B-29 night bombing in
Korea. Anti-aircraft fire [flak] at night
looks like 4th of July fireworks. Some
U. S. national anthem words of violence
find their way into this poem. I would
prefer something beautifully and
thoughtfully gentle like Sibelius’
“Finlandia” as a national anthem. The
term “gooks” was a common “term of
endearment” used in the US military in
the Korean War for North Korean and
Chinese people who happened to be the
“enemy” of the day.


(Words by Lloyd Stone 1933 ?)
(Music by Jean Sibelius, 1899)

This is my song, O God of all the nations,
A song of peace, for lands afar and mine.
This is my home, the country where my heart is,
Here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine.
But other hearts in other lands are beating
With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,
And sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine,
But other lands have sunlight too, and clover,
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
O hear my song, thou God of all the nations,
A song of peace for their land and mine.

Chuck Overby's Henoko Collage チャック・オバビーさんの辺野古コラージュ・詩

I would like to share Chuck Overby's Henoko collage and poetry, from his visit to Okinawa on June 23, 2007 (The Battle of Okinawa Memorial Day).

As my Article 9-Sadako crane

settled on

Henoko’s razor wire

dance of death --

this nearby beach beauty

invited hope.

chuck overby, 6/23/07

Purple Passion


Henoko’s razor wire

both dance

across the

fringes of my mind.

chuck overby, 6/23/07

Chuck Overby is founder of Article 9 Society in the U.S. He was a pilot of a B-29 bomber in the Korea War. Today is the 60th anniversary of the start of the Korean War.

The Story of "Quilting for Peace" 「平和をつなぐキルト」制作裏話

This is a backstage story of how Kyoko Hara and members of the peace communities in Vancouver created the "Quit for Peace." Kyoko, who had never quilted before, didn't think it was going to be possible, but she learned quilting from a scratch, and looking at this beautiful quilt, it is hard to believe that she hasn't been quilting for the last two decades. Those 120 "nine-patches," contributed by members of Vancouver Save Article 9, Clover Group, Peace Philosophy Centre's event attendants, etc., including some clumsily made like mine, were put together so gracefully and meticulously by Kyoko, and two other leaders of the White Rock Group, Mariko and Seiko. Quilt experts and artists like Keiko Hidaka and Akiko Michael kindly offered help too. Kyoko, veterinary scientist and mother of five children, says, "With this project, I learned how I could make something I had thought impossible actually happen. With peace issues, too, we tend to think things are impossible --- like nuclear abolition, and a world without military. But things do change, when you believe in turning impossible to possible. " Kyoko's example teaches us one of the most important lessons of creating peace: it starts with, and in each one of us. This is what the message of the quilt, "We are love, and we are world peace" conveys. Thank you Kyoko, and all who helped.



日高さんのキルトは、本当に素敵です。美しいだけでなく、そこに込められた平和へのメッセージは見る人の心に強く響きます。 ホワイトロックの会を進めている山本真理子さん、ロバーツ世以子さん、そして私。この3人でどれだけのことができるのでしょうか。













このキルトに掲げられた言葉、“We are love, and we are world peace.”は、乗松聡子さんからいただきました。この言葉によって、「平和をつなぐキルト」の方向性がよりはっきりしたものとなりました。
また、全体をどうやってまとめたらよいのだろう?と頭を抱えていた時、South Surrey 在住のArtist、Akiko・Michael さんが、字のデザインを快く引き受けてくださり、また色使いのアドバイスなどをしていただきました。



日高桂子さんのお友達で、高橋真由美さんというキルト作家がおられます。(この方の作られた平和のキルトがまた、素晴らしいのです。)高橋さんは、「小さなピースをつな いで大きなキルトを作ることは平和運動と同じ」と、おっしゃっているそうです。ひとりひとりの声は小さいかもしれないけれども、それが集まったときには大きなパワーとなる。そのことを今回のキルト制作を通して、実感しました。


「軍備のない平和なんてあり得ない。」「核兵器のない世界は考えられない。」「 憲法九条を守ろうなんて無理。」などなど、この世にはたくさんの「無理」や「不可能」と言われることがあります。時にはそれがなんだか現実的に思えてしまうこともあります。



“We are love, and we are world peace !”

原 京子   (ホワイトロックの会)
Kyoko Hara

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Okinawa, 65 Years Later 戦後65年―沖縄戦没者追悼式

Photos from Ryukyu Shimpo (left), and Okinawa Times (right) - extras on the day of 65th Okinawa Memorial, on June 23, 2010.

Former Prime Minister Hatoyama, in a TV interview recorded on June 11, talked about how he had to give up his idea of not building a Futenma "replacement" facility within Okinawa. He said, "Both the U.S. and the bureaucrats (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defense) wanted to build in Henoko. It was not the situation that would allow the Prime Minister's Office to exert leadership over this issue."

Hatoyama was saying it was the U.S. and those two ministries that are running the show over ANPO and the base issue in Okinawa, and the Prime Minister had no power over it. It is no surprise, but this raises a fundamental question: where is democracy? What are we doing as the Upper House election approaches? Is there no way for people and their votes to influence the government's decision, if matters are controlled by those bureaucrats and the corporate interests that rein them?

Yesterday (June 23 in Japan) was the 65th memorial day to remember those who perished in the Battle of Okinawa. Prime Minister Kan Naoto attended the memorial - his first visit to Okinawa since he took office at the beginning of June. A Japan specialist colleague of mine suspected that the bureaucrats were behind this plan, making it impossible for the Okinawan people to engage in any major protest activity on the day when communities across the Okinawan islands are in mourning.

Kan's speech at the memorial was nothing new: he stated his "apology" and "gratitude" for the base burden on Okinawans and pledged to reduce it (see Kyodo news below). It appears that the Okinawans are getting abundant thanks lately, including those from across the Pacific Ocean. On June 22, a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers submitted a resolution to "express gratitude" to the people of Japan, especially Okinawans for hosting U.S. military bases.

Right after Kan's June 11 policy speech, in which he thanked Okinawans for decades of hosting bases, Miyagi Yasuhiro, author and former Nago City Council member wrote on his blog wrote, "you don't need to thank us; can you just remove those feet off us? " Those fake "thanks" and "apologies" would be unforgivable to the souls of the ancestors who "died their unbearable deaths in the hellfire of the Battle of Okinawa," Miyagi says, as the government's deeds that accompany those words are perpetuation and addition of U.S. military bases on the island.

June 23, 1945 was the day on which General Ushijima Mitsuru, Commander of the Japanese 32nd Army took his own life, after issuing the last order "to keep fighting bravely until the end." Okinawan people, not just soldiers, were not allowed to surrender and were forced to fight until death or commit suicide. In 2008, Ota Masahide, former Goveronr of Okinawa discovered this charge by Ushijima in the U.S. archives, issued on June 18, 1945, to the commander of Student Corps, units of teenage Okinawan boys mobilized to fight in the battle, of which Ota himself was a member. The charge ordered the student soldiers to "engage in guerrilla combats after the organizational battle was over."

On the contrary, Ota Minoru, Commander of the Japanese naval forces who killed himself earlier, on June 13, sent a telegram to his vice commander. Here is the well-known part of this telegram:

"Ever since our Army and Navy occupied Okinawa, the inhabitants of the Prefecture have been forced into military service and hard labor, while sacrificing everything they own as well as the lives of their loved ones. They have served with loyalty. Now we are nearing the end of the battle, but they will go unrecognized, unrewarded. Seeing this, I feel deeply depressed and lament a loss of words for them. Every tree, every plant is gone. Even the weeds are burnt. By the end of June, there will be no more food. This is how the Okinawan people have found the war. And for this reason, I ask that you give the Okinawan people special consideration from this day forward. "

Ota Minoru's dying wish has not been realized on the land of Okinawa to date; the reality has completely been opposite, as surviving Okinawans were sent to the concentration camps while their houses and farms were taken to make space for new U.S. military bases. Okinawans underwent the U.S. military occupation for twenty more years after Japan resumed sovereignty in 1952, and the U.S. bases remained, with all the noise, danger, crimes and humiliation associated with them.

How could anybody, who has the slightest understanding of this history of Okinawa and of the ongoing suffering of people there, think of adding another military base there, and assume that saying those words of "appreciation" and "apology" makes it okay to do that?

In memory of those who died in Okinawa,

  • Kan apologizes for base-hosting burden on Okinawa
    Wednesday 23rd June, 12:00 PM JST
    Prime Minister Naoto Kan offered an apology to people in Okinawa Prefecture on Wednesday for forcing them to host a large part of U.S. military bases in Japan, but suggested the bases are indispensable to peace in the Asia-Pacific region.

    Kan made his first visit to the island prefecture since he took office earlier this month amid strong criticism from locals for an agreement reached between Japan and the United States in May to keep a key U.S. military base in Okinawa. ‘‘I offer an apology as a representative of all Japanese people,’’ Kan said at a ceremony to mark the 65th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Okinawa, which killed over 200,000 soldiers and civilians in the closing days of World War II.

    The government ‘‘will make a further serious commitment to easing the burden of hosting the bases and removing dangers’’ linked to their existence, Kan said. But he also expressed his ‘‘appreciation,’’ saying that Okinawa accepting the U.S. military presence has helped secure peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima, who attended the ceremony, said the obligation of hosting the U.S. bases in Japan must be equally shared among Japanese people. ‘‘I would like the burden (on Okinawa) to be visibly reduced,’’ he said.

    The premier said he will respect the Japan-U.S. accord announced May 28 to move the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station from a crowded residential area to a less populated coastal area in Okinawa, despite calls from locals to relocate the base outside the prefecture. At the same time, he emphasized government efforts to support Okinawa, which hosts over 70 percent of U.S. military facilities located in Japan.

    Wednesday also marked the 50th anniversary of the bilateral security treaty—the reason behind the U.S. military presence in Japan—entering into force. Kan’s predecessor, Yukio Hatoyama, stepped down to take responsibility for the political confusion partly caused by the Futenma relocation issue. Hatoyama had pledged to move the base outside Okinawa or Japan but later admitted that it was a difficult goal to achieve, in a move that led to the departure of the Social Democratic Party from the ruling coalition led by his Democratic Party of Japan.

    About 5,500 people attended the ceremony held at Peace Memorial Park in Itoman city. This year, the names of 80 people were newly added to the list of those who perished in the war engraved on the cenotaph at the park, bringing the total to 240,931. Some 94,000 civilians were killed in the three-month battle between Japanese and U.S. troops in 1945. Okinawa remained under U.S. occupation after the war until 1972.

    Okinawa has called for reducing the heavy U.S. military presence on the island, saying they have been suffering from noise at military bases and criminal cases involving U.S. servicemen. While the island accounts for 0.6 percent of Japanese soil, about 75 percent of the land used exclusively by the U.S. military in the country is located in Okinawa.

  • U.S. lawmakers submit resolution to express gratitude to Okinawa
    Wednesday 23rd June, 11:35 AM JST

    A group of bipartisan lawmakers submitted a resolution Wednesday to the U.S. House of Representatives to express gratitude to the Japanese people, especially to the people of Okinawa, for hosting the U.S. military. The draft resolution says the ‘‘robust forward presence’’ of the U.S. military in Japan ‘‘provides the deterrence and capabilities necessary for the defense of Japan and for the maintenance of Asia-Pacific peace, prosperity and regional stability.’‘

    The resolution ‘‘recognizes that the broad support and understanding of the Japanese people are indispensable for the stationing’’ of the U.S. military in Japan and ‘‘expresses its appreciation to the people of Japan, and especially on Okinawa, for their continued hosting’’ of the U.S. armed forces, it says. The text also touched on a joint statement released by the Japanese and U.S. governments in May that reconfirmed their commitment to a 2006 bilateral accord on the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, which includes a plan to relocate the U.S. Marines Corps’ Futenma base within Okinawa.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Network for Okinawa’s Statement on Current Situation 「ネットワーク・フォー・沖縄」声明 冲绳通信—关于冲绳军事基地的声明미군기지이전 현상에 대한 [Network for Okinawa]의 성명

Network for Okinawa’s Statement on Current Situation with U.S. Base Relocation

(日本語訳、中国語訳、韓国語訳は英語版の下にあります。中文版请见本文末尾。Japanese, Chinese, and Korean translation follow below. Thank you Arc Han for Chinese translation, and Kim Junghoon for Korean translation)

We, the Network for Okinawa, firmly oppose the Joint Statement of the U.S.-Japan Consultative Committee issued on May 28, in which the two governments confirmed their intention to build a 1,800-meter long runway (or more than one runway portions) at Henoko on Okinawa as a “replacement facility” for Futenma Air Station, and the partial relocation of training to Tokunoshima Island.

Protest in Okinawa
The people of Okinawa, after losing 100,000 lives, one quarter of its civilian population in the Battle of Okinawa towards the end of World War II, sacrificed much of their sovereignty, human rights, and freedom during the U.S. military occupation, and still today—38 years after the island’s reversion to Japan. Although Okinawa accounts for only 0.6% of Japanese territory, it hosts 74% of Japan’s U.S. military bases on illegally expropriated land in the prefecture.

The proposed U.S. military base goes against democratic principles, threatens the environment, and does not improve the security of Japan or the United States.

In March, Washington reiterated a pledge requiring local consent before proceeding with construction. Okinawans have opposed and blocked U.S. military expansion on their island in the name of “Futenma relocation” for the past 13 years, and their resistance at present is stronger than ever. In the Mainichi Newspaper poll conducted from May 28 to 30 in Okinawa, 84% of the residents oppose construction of a new base in Henoko. According to this poll, 91% of Okinawans want US bases in Okinawa either reduced or removed and 71% don’t think Marines are needed in Okinawa. On April 25 at the all-Okinawa rally, 90,000 Okinawans; Governor Nakaima; mayors of all the municipalities; members of the prefectural assembly; and all but one members of Parliament representing Okinawa gathered to call for the unconditional closure of Futenma Air Station and to oppose construction of a new base within Okinawa.

On May 16, 17,000 people surrounded Futenma Air Station in a human chain. Villagers have engaged in an ongoing sit-in at Henoko Beach for more than 2,200 days. Even local business leaders, many of whom would profit from base expansion, refuse to sacrifice “Okinawa’s pride, dignity and autonomy” for the economic benefits that the central government would provide to base-hosting communities.

On June 5, Japan’s new Prime Minister Naoto Kan and President Obama held their first phone conference and acknowledged their commonality as former civic activists. In the same conversation, they confirmed their commitment to follow through on the bilateral agreement to build a new base in Henoko, a decision that ignore the overwhelming civic opposition of Okinawa.
We should halt base expansion in Okinawa not only for people’s sake, but for other species and the sea as well. Henoko, where the two countries are planning to build a massive state-of-art military complex to host accident-prone Osprey helicopters, is located on Oura Bay, a unique fan-shaped bay that holds complex and rich ecosystems – those of wetland, sea grass, coral reef, and mangrove that relate to each other and maintain a fragile balance. The combination of forests, rivers and oceans is important to conserving these biodiversity. It is the feeding area of diverse marine animals including the dugong, an endangered marine mammal. In January 2009, a U.S. District Court in San Francisco ruled that the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) had violated the National Historic Preservation Act by failing to “take account” the effects of the base construction on the dugong, as an Okinawan “natural monument” with significant cultural and historic heritage. On April 24, then Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said, “Reclaiming land in Henoko’s ocean would be an act of sacrilege against nature.”

The U.S. Marine Corps presence in Okinawa has no strategic value. The Japan-US Security Treaty does not require Japan to provide bases to U.S. Marines. Rather than protecting Japan or Okinawa, the bulk of the U.S. Marines whose home base is Okinawa are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their training in Okinawa is for a mission that has nothing to do with “protecting Japan,” as many Japanese have been led to believe. Likewise, Marines won’t serve a role that justifies the plan for a massive, environmentally and socially destructive buildup in Guam.

The Network of Okinawa calls on the U.S. president and Japanese prime minister to change the bilateral agreement; return the Futenma land to its owners; and cancel plans to build new military facilities. We urge President Obama to “uphold and extend fundamental rights and dignity” to all Asian people, including Okinawans and beyond, as he declared in the National Security Strategy of May 2010.

June 14, 2010

Network for Okinawa





米政府は3月に、基地建設には現地の人々の同意が必要であるとの意向を再表明した。実際は過去13年に渡り、沖縄県民は「普天間移設」の名目で進められようとしている米軍基地の拡大に反対し、かつこれを阻止してきており、現在沖縄の抵抗はかつてない強いものとなっている。 5月28日から30日の間に毎日新聞が沖縄で行った世論調査によると、実に県民の84%が辺野古の新基地建設に反対している。さらに、91%が沖縄の基地を減らして欲しい、またはなくして欲しいと考えており、 71%が沖縄に海兵隊は必要ないとしている。


6月5日、日本の菅直人・新首相とオバマ大統領が初めて電話で会談し、元・市民活動家であるという両者の共通点を認め合った。 それにも拘わらず、同じ会話の中で、沖縄市民の圧倒的な反対を無視した二国間合意、すなわち辺野古新基地建設の実現に向けての努力を表明している。

人間のためだけではなく、他の種や海のためにも基地拡大は阻止しなければいけない。日米両国が大規模な最新型軍事施設(事故をおこしやすいオスプレー・ヘリコプターを配備予定)を建設しようとしている辺野古は、独特な扇形をした大浦湾岸に位置している。この湾には湿地・海草・サンゴ・マングローブなどの複雑で豊かな生態系が互いに関わり合い、壊れやすいバランスを保ちながら生存している。これらの生物多様性を保持するには、森・川・海の組み合わせが大切なのだ。この一帯は絶滅の危機にある海洋ほ乳動物ジュゴンを含む多種多様な海洋生物の生息地である。2008年1月、米国サンフランシスコの地方裁判所は、沖縄の貴重な文化や歴史的遺産であるジュゴンに基地建設がもたらす影響を国防総省が考慮しなかったとし、文化財保護法に違反しているとの判決を下した。 4月24日、鳩山由起夫首相は「辺野古の海を埋め立てるのは、自然に対する冒涜だ」と言った。


「ネットワーク・フォー・沖縄」は米国大統領と日本の総理大臣に対し、二国間合意を変更し、普天間の土地を本来の持ち主に返還し、新たな軍事施設の建設計画を撤回するよう求める。 我々は、オバマ大統領が今年5月「国家安全保障戦略」の中で述べた、「アジア諸国の人々の基本的権利と尊厳を尊重し、維持する」という考えを沖縄県民にも確実に適用する事を強く要求する。







不僅僅是因為市民的原因,為保護沖繩的環境和生物多樣性,新基地的建設也應當被廢止。作為新基地建設地的邊野古市大浦灣因其獨特的扇形結構,多種濕地,海草,珊瑚和灌木構成了獨特而又脆弱的複雜生態系統。森林,河流和大海的組合保證了當地的生物多樣性,為包括儒艮在內的多種珍稀動植物提供者重要的棲息地。軍事設施的建立,特別是不安全的魚鷹直升機的進駐將成為這些瀕臨滅絕的動植物的嚴重威脅。 2009年1月,美國三藩市地方法院裁決美國國防部在邊野古建設基地的決定沒有充分考慮到對自然環境何儒艮的危害,從而違背了聯邦歷史文化財產保護法。 4月24日,鳩山由紀夫首相也公開表達了“在邊野古填海建立基地是對自然的破壞”。



미군기지이전 현상에 대한 [Network for Okinawa]의 성명

[Network for Okinawa]는 5월 28일 발표된 미일안전보장협의위원회 합동성명에 결사반대를 표하는 바이다.

이 성명에 의하면 미일 양 정부는 후텐마 공군기지의 [대체시설]로 오키나와의 헤노코(辺野古)에 1,800미터에 이르는 활주로(활주로는 복수가 될 가능성도 있음)를 건설하여, 훈련의 일부를 토쿠노시마(徳之島)로 이전 의도를 재확인 했다. (역자주: 일본어판 성명에는 기록되어 있지 않지만, 영문판에는 활주로가 복수가 될 가능성도 있도록 기록되어 있음. V자안등의 가능성도 남겨두기 위해서라고 사료됨.)

세계 제2차대전 말기의 오키나와전투로 인해 오키나와 시민 전체 4분의 1에 해당하는 10만명을 잃은 오키나와 현민은 패전후의 미군점령시대를 통해 주권도, 인권도, 자유도 빼앗긴채 살아왔다. 복귀후 38년이 지난 아직까지도 현실은 변한것이 아무것도 없다. 오키나와는 일본 전 국토의 0.6%에 지나지 않지만, 불법으로 빼앗긴 오키나와 현 내의 토지 내에 일본 미군기지의 74%가 위치하고 있다.

새로운 미군기지의 건설은 민주주의의 이념에 반할뿐만 아니라, 환경에까지도 위협을 미치며 일본, 미국 양국 모두에게 있어 안전보장 향상으로는 이어지지 않는다.

미국 정부는 지난 3월, 기지건설에 있어서는 오키나와 현민들의 동의가 필요하다는 의향을 재표명 했다. 실제로는 과거 13년에 걸쳐 오키나와 현민은 [후텐마 미군기지 이전]의 명목하에 진행되고 있는 미군기지 확대에 반대하여 그것을 저지해 왔으며, 현재 오키나와의 저항은 이전 그 어느 때 보다도 거센 상태이다. 5월 28일부터 30일에 걸쳐 일본 마이니치 신문이 오키나와에서 실시한 여론조사에 의하면 84%에 이르는 현민이 새 미군기지를 헤노코로 이전하는것에 반대하고 있다. 뿐만 아니라, 91%가 오키나와의 미군기지 축소 또는 철폐를 원한다고 답했으며, 71%는 오키나와에 해병대는 필요없다고 답했다.

4월 25일에 치뤄진 현민대회에는 9만명의 오키나와 현민, 나카이마 오키나와현지사 (仲井眞県知事)를 비롯한 모든 자치단체장, 현(県)의원, 그리고 1명을 제외한 오키나와 당선 국회의원들이 모여 후텐마 기지의 무조건 폐쇄 및 현내의 새로운 기지 건설 반대를 호소했다. 5월 16일에는 1만 7천명이 후텐마 기지를 둘러싸는 이벤트를 벌였다. 헤노코에서는 주민들이 2,200일 이상 연좌시위를 이어가고 있다. 기지이전을 수용함에 따라 실행되는 [경제진흥책]에 의해 이익을 받을 수 있는 지역경제계의 리더들 조차도 기지 수용보다 [현민의 자존심 및 자립]을 희생시키는데 있어 강한 거부감을 표하고 있다.

6월 5일 칸 나오토 신임 일본 수상은 오바마 대통령과 첫 전화 회담을 했으며, 시민활동가로 활동했던 공통점을 서로 인정했다. 그럼에도 불구하고 전화 회담에서 오키나와 시민의 압도적인 반대를 무시하고 양국간의 합의, 즉 헤노코 새 미군기지 건설의 실현을 위한 노력을 표명했다.

인간뿐만이 아니라 다른 생물 및 바다를 위해서도 기지확대는 저지되어야 한다. 미일양국이 대규모 최신 군사시설(사고빈도가 높은 Osprey 헬리콥터를 배치 예정)을 건설하려고 하는 헤노코는 독특한 선형을 한 오오우라(大浦)만의 연안에 위치하고 있다. 이 만에는 습지, 해초, 산호초등의 다양하고 풍부한 생태계가 어우러져 무너지기 쉬운 생태계의 균형을 이루고 있다. 이러한 생물다양성을 보존하기 위해서는 숲, 하천, 바다의 조화가 중요하다. 이 일대는 멸종위기종인 해양포유류 듀공을 포함한 다양한 해양생물의 서식지이다. 2008년 1월 미국 샌프란시스코 지방재판소는 일본 국방성이 미군 기지건설에 의한 환경변화가 오키나와의 귀중한 문화재이며 역사적인 유산이기도 한 듀공에 미칠 영향을 충분히 고려하지 않은것으로 보고 문화재 보호법 위반 판결을 내렸다. 4월 24일 하토야마 유키오 수상은 [헤노코의 바다를 매립하는것은 자연에 대한 모독이다] 라고 발언했다.

오키나와 해병대의 존재에 전략적 가치는 없다. 미일 안보조약은 일본의 미해병대에 기지제공을 의무하지 않았다. 오키나와의 미국해병대의 대다수는 일본 및 오키나와를 지키는것이 아니라, 이라크 및 아프가니스탄에서 전투중이다. 오키나와에서의 해병대 훈련은 대다수의 일본인이 믿고 있는 것과 같은 [일본을 지키기 위해] 서가 아니라, 전혀 다른 목적을 위해 행해지고 있는것이다. 마찬가지로 괌 미군기지 확대 역시 환경적, 사회적 파괴를 수반하는 것으로, 해병대는 이런 계획을 정당화 하는 역할을 해서는 안된다.

[Network for Okinawa]는 미국대통령과 일본총리대신에게 양국간 합의를 변경하여, 후텐마의 토지를 원래의 주인에게 반환 및 새로운 군사시설 계획을 철회할 것을 요구한다. 오바마 대통령이 올해 5월 [국가안전 보장전략]중에 진술한 [아시아 각국 국민의 기본적인 권리와 존엄을 존중하여 유지한다]는 이념을 오키나와 현민에게도 확실히 적용 해 줄것을 강력히 요구하는 바이다.

2010년 6월 14일
Network for Okinawa

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Yoshida Kensei : Re-examining Kyodo News Reports 吉田健正:米発共同記事を検証する


Journalist Yoshida Kensei, in the June 8 edition of Ryukyu Shimpo, rebuts recent Kyodo News Agency reports (see June 1 Japan Times article and June 3 article on below) on the U.S. plan to move Marines to Guam.

In the article "Marines' move to Guam from Okinawa may be delayed up to 5 years" (June 1, Japan Times and May 31, Ryukyu Shimpo), the reason for the delay is for the U.S. Government to consider investing "several billion dollars" for the added infrastructure needs. That "infrastructure," according to the Kyodo article, is about "the lack of infrastructure on the island concerning potable water and sewage there. "

"Several billion dollars" can be about a half of the total estimated cost of $10.27 billion, of which Japan is supposed to shoulder $6.09 billion and U.S. $4.18 billion.

February this year, EPA, which evaluated the environmental impact assessment for the build-up as insufficient, announced that $13 million would be allocated for added infrastructure of potable water and sewage, about 10 times of the previous year's $1.33 mil. This is already a massive increase of the budget. Why would there be a need for the U.S. Government to further add "several billion dollars"? Yoshida is doubtful of a plan for such a huge increase in the budget, and whether the reported delay in the Marines' transfer to Guam has valid ground, coming from the anonymous "sources close to the bilateral ties," which Kyodo did not identify.

This Kyodo correspondant Sugita, who wrote the above-mentioned article, wrote in another article (June 3, Kyodo news in, and June 2, Ryukyu Shimpo, see below), "The Senate Armed Services Committee reduced the outlays by some $320 million or 70% from the government-proposed level under an amendment to the defense authorization bill for fiscal 2011 that the House passed late last month," and "The reason cited by the panel in the document for the cut was that the Okinawa Prefecture governor has not approved a land reclamation plan for coastal waters to build the replacement for the Futenma Marines air station in Ginowan." Sugita concludes that it was made apparent that the U.S. Congress would not pass the budget for Marines' transfer to Guam unless Okinawa governor approves reclamation.

Yoshida finds dubious that the reason for the budget cut was the lack of Okinawa governor's reclamation approval, because the decision came only a few days after the joint Japan-U.S. statement (May28), which identified Henoko as a site for new base construction, but did not specify a construction method yet - whether it is going to be by reclamation or another method.

Yoshida argues that those Kyodo's articles are acting as spokesperson for the some interest groups in Washington, whose intention is to pressure Japan to hasten the process of a Futenma replacement base construction in Henoko. Yoshida suspects that these interest groups send such propaganda through media, to threat Japan into contributing more money to the Guam buildup plan by hinting that the Marines' transfer would be delayed if Japan didn't. Yoshida is critical of the Kyodo reporter who didn't do his job of verifying the information and just published it as he heard from those unidentified sources.

Journalist Yoshida Kensei lives and writes in Naha, Okinawa. See his article in Japan Focus: US Bases, Japan and the Reality of Okinawa as a Military Colony.




Senate panel cuts outlays for relocation of Marines from Okinawa
Thursday 03rd June, 01:53 AM JST

A U.S. Senate committee has cut outlays in a bill for the planned relocation of Marines from Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture to Guam, indicating its pressure on Japan over a Marine air base in the prefecture, a document obtained by Kyodo News showed.

The Senate Armed Services Committee reduced the outlays by some $320 million or 70% from the government-proposed level under an amendment to the defense authorization bill for fiscal 2011 that it passed late last month.

The reason cited by the panel in the document for the cut was that the Okinawa Prefecture governor has not approved a land reclamation plan for coastal waters to build the replacement for the Futenma Marines air station in Ginowan.

Japan and the United States released a joint statement Friday on a fresh agreement on the relocation of the Futenma base, saying the base will be moved to the Henoko area in the prefecture in line with an existing accord struck in 2006.

But Okinawa Gov Hirokazu Nakaima has yet to approve any specific land reclamation plan for the planned facility, stating it would be extremely difficult to implement the Japan-U.S. agreement on the Futenma base relocation due to strong opposition from local people.

The panel’s document notes that the action to obtain the governor’s permit ‘‘has been indefinitely delayed’’ and the panel effectively urged the U.S. Department of Defense to obtain such a permit as a certification that ‘‘tangible progress’’ has been made on the issue in order to bring back the cut on outlays for the planned relocation of Marines from Okinawa to Guam.

Japan Times

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Marine move to Guam facing five-year delay
WASHINGTON (Kyodo) Japan and the United States are considering postponing the transfer of about 8,000 marines from Okinawa to Guam by three to five years from the originally scheduled 2014, sources close to Japanese-U.S. ties said Monday.

The Pacific island's infrastructure isn't capable of handling such a huge influx of people, and the U.S. government is planning to compile a construction plan in July worth several billion dollars, according to the sources and a U.S. official.

Japan and the U.S. have agreed that the transfer of the marines and their family members to the U.S. territory is "dependent on tangible progress" on relocating the Futenma air station to another site in Okinawa Prefecture.

A significant delay in the transfer would affect the replacement facility's location, configuration and construction method, which the two countries said in their latest accord released Friday would be worked out by the end of August.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency pointed out in February that Guam's infrastructure wouldn't be able to keep up with the rapid population increase caused by the marine transfer, an EPA official said.

The EPA and the Defense Department recently agreed in principle on concrete measures to address the lack of infrastructure concerning potable water and sewage.

The measures include curtailing the influx of people from outside the island, one of the sources said.

While the infrastructure plan is to be compiled on the premise that Guam's needs should be addressed by 2014, another source said it would be difficult for the U.S. Congress to earmark enough funds by then.

共同通信 6月2日

沖縄の米海兵隊移転費70%削減 普天間で地元同意要求 






米のグアム移転、最大5年遅れ 7月に整備計画 




Saturday, June 12, 2010

Questions about Cheonan Sinking Part III 天安艦沈没事件の疑問 パート3

******Japan Focus Article
John McGlynn: Politics in Command: The "International" Investigation into the Sinking of the Cheonan and the Risk of a New Korean War

In this compelling and revealing article, McGlynn points out that the team of "international investigation" consisted of all but one belligerent states of Korean War - South Korea, US,
UK, Canada and Australia, plus Sweden. It was basically purely South Korean military investigation, only rubber-stamped by the observers of the rest of the countries, and Sweden even abstained. The torpedo part used as an evidence was said to be discovered five days before the South Korea's self-set report release date of May 20, in time for their election in two weeks. The marking of the "No.1" in Hangul on the torpedo was hand-written on a strangely clean surface on the part. That was said to resemble the North Korean torpedo described in their brochure, but South Korean authority has not released that brochure and nobody knows where
it is. The 400-page report that is said to exist has not been released; all we have is this 5-page "statement" in which South Korea concludes that the blame is on North Korea because "there is no other plausible explanation." The list of questionable points is endless.

For more,

******The Russian investigation team refused to put the blame on North Korea.

Here are news links in Japanese. ロシア調査団が北朝鮮の犯行とするには証拠が不十分すぎると結論を出したというニュースです。

Voice of Russia

********PSPD, People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy issued three-part reports on the sinking of South Korean corvette Cheonan. PSPD is one of the largest civic organizations in Korea. This is an excellent summary of the questions that are remaining to be answered.


All the text of the three reports are copied below.

[Cheonan Warship Report1]
The PSPD's Stance on the Final Investigation Report on the Cheonan and the countering measures of the Lee Myung-bak administration

[Cheonan Warship Report2]
Eight Questions Needing Answers on the Investigation of the Sunken Naval Corvette Cheonan

[Cheonan Warship Report3]
Six Problems on the Investigation Process of the Cheonan Sinking

Here is the first report.

[Cheonan Warship Report1]
The PSPD's Stance on the Final Investigation Report on the Cheonan and the countering measures of the Lee Myung-bak administration

1. Brief on the Cheonan Incident

● The 1,300-ton patrol combat corvette (PCC) Cheonan sank splitted into two about 1 nautical mile off the southwestern coast of Baengnyeong-do(Island) near the NLL(Northen Limit Line) in the shallow water of the West Sea at the time estimated to be around 21:15 to 21:22 on March 26, 2010. At the time, the ROK and the U.S. forces were jointly conducting the annual field military exercise, Foal Eagle. Commander of the ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command announced that the WMD (weapons of mass destruction including nuclear weapons) removal team involved in this military exercise just in case of North Korea's contingent situation.

● While the Ministry of Defense elaborated that the Cheonan was not mobilized directly related to the Foal Eagle exercise, Major Derek Peterson of the US Navy's 7th Fleet who was on the rescue mission for the sunken Cheonan stated in an interview with a Korean TV station on April 5, 2010 that the sinking occurred during the joint field exercise conducted by the ROK and the U.S. on a regular basis.

● Although 58 survived including the captain of the warship, 46 were either dead or missing. Strangely though, while the ROK military could not locate the vessel for 48 hours after sinking, a fishing boat equipped with a fish detector found the ship immediately after joining the search effort, raising distrust among the missing sailors' families.

2. The Basic Stance of the PSPD on the Cheonan's Sinking

● PSPD has taken the following stance toward the sinking of the naval vessel.

- First, the truth behind the Cheonan incident needs to be elucidated clearly beyond any doubt and the party responsible for the sinking, once found, needs to take the rightly responsibility.

- Second, the South Korean government needs to open up the information confirmed during the investigation process to remove all misunderstanding and doubts among Korean people. Publically disclosing the information is especially important because of significant impacts that the incident has over national security and the inter-Korean relations, and because of the frequent changes in the Navy's stance over the truth and attempts at concealing vital information during the early stage of investigation.

● The following approach is recommended to remove all misunderstanding and controversy during the fact-finding process for the cause of the sinking.

- First, it is necessary to prove whether the vessel sank because of an external underwater explosion based on apparent evidence. At the same time, a thorough investigation is needed on the various possibilities of the sinking due including running around or colliding, also based on apparent evidence. By doing so, all the doubts or presumption can be clearly removed that the government approached the investigation with prejudgement.

- Once the result shows that the explosion was caused by a torpedo, then the subsequent investigation should prove that North Korea is behind the explosion, beyond any doubt backed by clear evidence.

- If the subsequent investigation proves that the explosion was caused by a torpedo then the next step is to prove that North Korea is behind the "torpedo explosion", also based on sure evidence without any doubts.

● PSPD expected that the pertaining defense authorities to release the results of the investigation befitting the above-stated approach.

3. PSPD's Brief Evaluation of the Final Report released by the Joint Civilian-Military Investigation Group (JIG) on the Cheonan Incident

● The final report by the JIG on May 20, 2010 stated that the Cheonan's sinking was the result of a non-contact explosion that had occurred approximately 3m left of the gas turbine room at a depth of about 6 to 9m caused by a North Korean CHT-02D torpedo presumably fired by a North Korean submarine, a 130 ton YONO class.

● However, there are still many questions that went unanswered and the contents of the final report contained many loopholes and evidence is still lacking to conclude that the sinking was the result of a torpedo attack despite several pieces of information reported by President Lee Myung-bak and the JIG from the Ministry of Defense. Especially, the contents of the final report were different or changed from the interim results reported by the government or those reported to the National Assembly. Thus, the final report cannot be used to fully answer those questions raised during the process of investigation.

● The Ministry of Defense has failed to logically elaborate the actual relationship among various facts by not publically disclosing the basic information such as the wake record behind the ship, the contents of communication at the time of the accident, survivors' testimonies and so on. The explanation over the infiltration of a North Korean submarine presumed to have fired a torpedo is not convincing enough because it had been drawn upon presumptions.

● The bigger issue is the fact the final report was made without investigating the crucial vessel parts and structures that had been affected by sound waves from a torpedo such as the diesel engine and gas turbine room and without completing the simulation on the explosion. Thus, the government while trying to meet the schedule has brought criticism upon itself that the conclusion is not complete. Then, the question goes as to whether there has been any political motivation behind releasing the final results in hurry without completing the investigation.

● The evidence on a torpedo attack proposed by the JIG lacks convincing rationale and the same goes to the explanation over the infiltration of a North Korean submarine. The ROK military showed a torpedo shooter and a screw, both of which had been well-preserved beyond understanding. However, it has failed to show or proving other related evidences with convincing power including (1) the vessel that damaged by a torpedo beyond any doubt, (2) soldiers for that matter, and (3) any records or images related with the incident. Moreover, the military is just increasing doubts by changing the explanation over the facts.

● In other words, it would be difficult to conclude that the pieces of a torpedo, which was presented by the Ministry of Defense, presumed to be of North Korean's and oxidized aluminum substances are the vital evidence and that the real truth has been found beyond any doubt. The report released on May 20, 2010 has numerous limitations in silencing all the doubts and distrust piled up due to the censoring and changing of information by the Ministry of Defense on the cause of the Cheonan sinking.

4. Problems related with the Counter-Measures decided by President Lee Myung-bak after the JIG Final Report

● In its official statement on the same day, PSPD has asserted that additional investigation is a must for the JIG report on May 20 to gain understanding and support from Korean people and an bipartisan investigation must be conducted by the National Parliament members, not an investigation team under control of the military who had monopolized and censored the information regarding the Cheonan incident. PSPD also urged that the government refrain from taking a conclusive stance and announcing measures that could provoke serious political and diplomatic controversies domestically and internationally until the National Assembly has completed the fact-finding process.

● However, the Lee adminstration has not listened to the reasonable aforementioned proposals. Instead, President Lee and the Lee administration convened a meeting of the National Security Council on May 21, 2010 to discuss sanctions against North Korea. On May 24, President Lee held an address to nation and declared "stern measures" against North Korea including terminating of the North-South agreement on usages of sea routes, suspending all trade and exchanges between the South and the North, changing the South's military posture from passive defense to proactive deterrence including resuming of propaganda broadcasting toward North Korea and exercising of the right to self-defense in case of the North's military violations, strengthening strategic power and military drills against submarines, referring the matter to the UN Security Council and so on. The President Lee also urged North Korea for apology and punishment of those responsible for the incident.

● North Korea is strongly detesting the Lee administration's report and the follow-up measures. On May 20, North Korea denied its involvement in statement of the National Defense Committee and demanded the evidence to a team of North Korean inspectors to be dispatched to South Korea. When South Korea refused to heed their demands, North Korea announced in its statement through the Committee for Peaceful Unification of the Fatherland that all the inter-Korean relations issues arising in the future will be handled under a wartime law and "if the South were to respond with actions and retaliation, it will take resolute measures without any mercy including severing all ties with South Korea, abrogating the agreement on non-aggression between the South and the North and completely abandoning all forms of inter-Korean cooperation. Commander of North Korean Central Command asserted that it will directly point, shoot, and destroy if South Korea were to start a new form of psychological propagandas against the North.

● As a result, South-North confrontation is worsening toward military tensions on the Korean peninsula to the verge of war.

5. PSPD's Recommendations

● PSPD strongly urges the Lee Myung-bak administration and the North Korean government to stop any provocative with holding safety of the people on the Korean peninsula as collateral and military remarks and actions holding the people of the Korean Peninsula hostage.

● PSPD also strongly urges the Lee administration of South Korea proceed additional investigations to supplement the incomplete investigation of the Cheonan incident, and stop aggressive diplomatic measures that could deepen political and military conflicts in the South and on the Korean Peninsula until Korean people are convinced with the explanation.

● Especially, the measures announced by the Lee administration on May 24 not only abrogate the South-North agreement on maritime transportation but also contain dangerous measures that can basically ruin the Korean people's rights to peaceful living. Thus, these measures should been chosen after careful and sufficient deliberation and review, after the release of the investigation results that can be acceptable to politicians of both ruling and opposition parties and the people of Korea.

● Based on the aforementioned perspectives, PSPD raises the following eight questions that must be answered for the Korean government and politicians of the ruling and opposition parties to find the real truth behind the Cheonan incident.

Question 1. Had been really a torpedo-induced water column?

Question 2. No such severe injuries evident of a torpedo explosion found in the bodies of survivors and deceased soldiers

Question 3. Is it true that there is no TOD recordings from the early stage of the Cheonan incident?

Question 4. There are no severe damages evident of an explosion on the severed surface, on the bottom of the ship and in the interior of the hull.

Question 5. Why the military concealed the finding and refloating of the gas turbine room? And why did they omit the investigation of the gas turbine room from investigating?

Question 6. Were the oxidized aluminum substances, not gun powder, evident of an explosion?

Question 7. What is the profile of the YONO class submarine? Is it understandable that the submarine had not been followed for several days by the ROK and the U.S. surveillance?

Question 8. Why couldn't a torpedo launch be detected?

This document summarizes the questions raised by the Center for Peace and Disarmament of People's Solidarity for Perspiratory Democracy (PSPD) on the report released on May 20, 2010 by the joint civilian-military investigation group (JIG) under the Ministry of Defense on the cause of sinking of the naval warship Cheonan.

1. Summary of the Report by the Joint Civilian-Military Investigation Group(JIG)

◯ The Official Results of the JIG (May 20, 2010)
: The PCC Cheonan was believed to have sunken as the ship cut in half due to a strong underwater explosion at the lower left side of the gas turbine room. The site of explosion was approximately 3m left of the gas turbine room at a depth of 6 to 9m. The weapon was confirmed to be a highly explosive CHT-02D torpedo made by North Korea with an explosion warhead of 250kg.

◯ Explosion Due to an Underwater Bubble Jet
● The ship severely deformed toward the top side: The hull and iron sheets were curved inward, the evidence of strong shock waves and bubble detected.
● Detection of a water column
● Partial computer simulation showed the ship cut in half under a similar situation
● Evidence of pressure and bubbles resulted from a torpedo explosion found in the entire hull of the ship
● The found non-crystalline oxidized aluminum substances believed to have come from a high temperature and high pressure explosion.

◯ A Torpedo Attack from a North Korean Submarine
● The torpedo parts discovered by a dredging ship at the site of the explosion on May 15 have the same schematics of a North Korean torpedo on the export brochure published by North Korea. This heavyweight HT-02D torpedo manufactured by North Korea utilizing acoustic/wake homing and passive acoustic tracking methods has 21 inches in diameter and weighs 1.7 tons with a net explosive weight of up to 250kg.
● The hangul "1번" (number 1 in English) handwritten inside of the tail end of the propeller is the same marking found in a North Korean torpedo for military exercise purposes secured by the South Korean military in 2003.
● It was confirmed that a SANGO class (300ton) submarine and a YONO class (130ton) midget submarine left a North Korean base/port in the West Sea two or three days before the attack and returned back to the port two or three days after attacking the Cheonan warship. Among these two, the YONO class was believed to have been responsible for the attack of the Cheonan vessel.
● These North Korean submarines were presumed to have infiltrated and left the South Korean waters via international seas.
● The analysis on the chemicals found adhering to both the torpedo parts and the hull revealed to be oxidized aluminum substances that resulted from a torpedo explosion.

2. Insufficient Evidence Proving a Torpedo Attack

Question 1.
Had been really a torpedo-induced water column?

● The Ministry of Defense stated in its final report that a water column coming from the bubble-jet effect was present. However, it had reported that no water column was detected. The problem is that the changed findings lack convincing power.
● The joint civilian-military investigation group (JIG) claimed that a water column caused by a torpedo was present based on the findings (1) a lookout at the coast of Baengnyeong-do Island reported to have witnessed a 20-30m wide and 100m tall water column, (2) a port-side lookout reported that he felt water drops on his face, and (3) oxidised aluminum substances to have come from a bubble jet were found on the entire hull including the bow and the stern turret.
● The findings, which the water column had left marks on the entire hull including the bow and the stern but only water-drops on the solider's face, are not convincing enough. The survivors including the port-side lookouts testified during the press conference that there was no water column and no smell of gunpowder.
● The Defense Minister when questioned by the National Assembly immediately after the release of the final results stated that the existence of a water column is not important and a simulation on water column will be completed in July.

Question 2.
No such severe injuries evident of a torpedo explosion found in the bodies of survivors and deceased soldiers

● No explosion-related injuries were found in the bodies of the surviving and dead soldiers such as burns, ruptures of internal organs such as the eardrum, and severe fractures, etc.
● No such injuries were found on the bodies of the dead soldiers found very near the site of presumed explosion. And it is not understandable that the final report had no explanation over this important matter.
● The water where the Cheonan incident had occurred is known to be one of the abundant fishing grounds, but the coast guards on the search mission reported no massive death of fish despite the explosion. Although the Ministry of Defense claimed that it was because of fast tides, the water was still at the time of the incident.

Question 3.
Is it true that there is no TOD recordings from the early stage of the Cheonan incident?

● The military had hidden the existence of the TOD (thermal observation device) that recorded the sea scenes from Baengnyeong-do Island including the process of Cheonan sinking and reported finally that no TOD recordings were present at the time when the ship severed into two. However, navy retirees reported that TOD images are recorded automatically and refuted that there would be no blind spots because several TOD devices record the same area at the same time.
● The media including the daily newspaper Hankyoreh reported the testimonies of unanimous witnesses who had seen the TOD images recorded at the time of the ship severing into half. They stated that the Cheonan warship was sailing smoothly and suddenly broke off into half, then the stern sank less than 5 minutes after breaking off and the bow floated about 20 minutes and started to sink after it had suddenly tilted toward the right. They also stated that there had not been a water column.
● National Assembly person Lee Jung-hee of Democratic Labor Party reported the similar findings at the National Assembly during the general discussion session on May 19, 2010.

Question 4.
There are no severe damages evident of an explosion on the severed surface, on the bottom of the ship and in the interior of the hull.

● More than anything else, no evidence indicative of severe damages presumed to have been caused by shock waves of a torpedo explosion has been found on the severed surface. The severed surface partially opened to the public seemed well-preserved compared to other ships damaged by torpedo attacks. Even those ammunitions and goods/articles found from the hull interior were well-organized.
● In the interim reports and the final report on May 20, the military announced that (1) an underwater explosion was highly likely based on the torn shape and (2) the ship sank as the result of a non-contact explosion since there had not been blackened soot coming from an explosion from the interior or exterior of the ship, no evidence of melting from heat and no punctured spots. However, experts refuted that these findings themselves are the specific evidence that the cause was not from a torpedo explosion.
● The Ministry of Defense stating that no punctures form after the breakage from a bubble jet is not convincing enough to explain a proximal explosion.
● Lee Jong-in, CEO of Alpha Underwater Technology Corporation specializing in ship wreckage recovery refuted the findings by the Ministry that breakage from an explosion would smash severed surface in the direction sustaining the explosive force, the severed surface would be damaged up to the point of no recognition, and no electric wires would be left being obliterated.
● He also pointed out that (1) if the torpedo explosion occurred 3m below the bottom of the ship, the ship bottom should show punctures from the explosion and the ship would be full of shattered torpedo pieces, and (2) the severed surface of the Cheonan is characteristic of physical forces rather than an explosion or proximal explosion.

Question 5.
Why the military concealed the finding and refloating of the gas turbine room? And why did they omit the investigation of the gas turbine room from investigating?

● The Ministry of Defense later confirmed the recovery of the gas turbine room, which was missed on the incident, after a civilian testified the recovery on May 18.
● The Ministry asserted that a torpedo with a net explosive power between 200 to 300 kg had exploded approximately 3m left of the bottom center of the gas turbine room. And civilian experts who had considered the possibility of aground or collision pointed out that the gas turbine room would show evidences. Thus, the gas turbine room is the critical evidence that can show the real cause of the Cheonan sinking. Nonetheless, the military tried to hide the recovery and omitted the investigation result at the time of the final report.
● According to the reports by the military, the diesel engine was recovered around mid May, and the gas turbine room was recovered on May 19 and carried to the 2nd Fleet Headquarters on May 20. In other words, investigation on the gas turbine room had not been reflected on the final report.
● Nonetheless, the military reported the final results on May 20, arguing that the findings were sufficient. Coincidentally, campaigns for local elections kicked off on that date. It is suspicious that the military investigation team and the Lee government may have reported the investigation results with undue haste with certain political goals.
● The JIG disclosed some parts of the recovered gas turbine room in pictures after May 31.

Question 6.
Were the oxidized aluminum substances, not gun powder, evident of an explosion?

● According to the media, the military was focusing on finding evidence of gun powder at the time of investigation. The military investigation team reported the finding of little trace of highly explosive substances such as RDX and HMX but did not claim that they are evident of a torpedo attack because they were present in very minute amounts and are used by both the Eastern and Western blocks.
● Instead, the investigation team laid out oxidized aluminum substances as the circumstantial evidence of a torpedo explosion, and reported that these substances were discovered in eight places of the hull and similar substances were found in the North Korean torpedo parts recovered. They reported that these non-crystalline (white powder) oxidized aluminum substances are formed only at high pressure such as a torpedo explosion.
● However, based on the findings that (1) these substances were discovered on the hull composed of aluminum parts but not on other metal parts or the bodies of the crew and (2) a large quantity of oxidized aluminum was present especially on the aluminum screw, doubts have been raised by civilian experts. Some citizens showed pictures of similar oxidized substances from their own motorboat screws, raising doubts that this oxidized substance could just be of oxidized aluminum.
● They also raised the doubt over the minute amount of explosives (RDX, HMX, TNT) detected in the Cheonan warships. The doubt is that the amount of explosives found on the Cheonan is as small as that can be found in other ordinary warships, even though the amount of those explosives is more than that of aluminum in the composition of torpedo explosives.
● Furthermore, a thick layer of aluminum in large quantity covered the torpedo screw discovered but it is beyond common sense that the screw was well-preserved without damage, and it is difficult to understand that the "1번" mark handwritten with a oil pen on the propulsion section of the presented torpedo was well-preserved.
● A National Assembly person, a Democratic Party member, Choi Moon-soon raised a question based on the opinion of Professor Lee Seung-heon, one of the Physics professors at the University of Virginia, which oxidized aluminum discovered in the hull and North Korean torpedo parts was not come from an explosion.

3. Lack of evidence showing the attack was from a North Korean submarine

Question 7.
What is the profile of the YONO class submarine? Is it understandable that the submarine had not been followed for several days by the ROK and the U.S. surveillance?

● The Ministry of Defense is assuming that the attack was from a YONO class submarine. The only ground for assumption is that the South Korean military failed to follow up a SANG-O class submarine and a YONO class submarine along with their mother ship from a North Korean naval base for several days.
● There is no evidence, in other words, there is no specific explanation over how the North Korean YONO class submarine attacked the Cheonan. However, the explanation is just one hypothesis after another.
● The military explained that 300ton or heavier SANG-O class submarines could not be operated at the site of the Cheonan incident because of its big size and they do not have the capability to shoot heavy torpedoes.
● That was why the military presumed that a YONO class submarine was the culprit behind the Cheonan sinking. The YONO class around 120 to 130 ton submarine is smaller than the SANG-O class, in which the existence of this smaller class was reported for the first time through the final report of the investigation. However, doubts are raised because the military is mute about whether this class is capable to launch heavy torpedoes, how long they can stay in underwater, etc.
● However, the YONO class (midget) submarine is another name for the GHARDIR class owned by Iran and it is not known whether North Korea has YONO class submarines. It is confirmed that North Korea had exported YUGO class midget submarines to Iran. YUGO class submarines and P-4 class similar to the YUGO class are not capable or have limited capability to shoot heavy torpedoes.
● The Defence Minister reported on May 22 that the government had known about the existence of the YONO class submarines since 2005. However, he stated on April 2 during the report to the National Assembly that North Korea submarines does not have much underwater navigation capabilities like latest US submarines. He also stated that two submarines were not found at one of three naval bases of North Korea. However, he estimated the possibility low since the naval base is quite far from Bangryung-do. In addition, he repeatedly denied the possibility since the submarines are of low-speed type and they do not have capability of long-lasting submerge.

Question 8.
Why couldn't a torpedo launch be detected?

● Even if the navy could not have followed North Korean submarines with sonar, it lacks convincing power that the they could not detect an approaching torpedo with sonar because it is known that an approaching torpedo is very easy to detect with sonar.
● On this issue, the military had claimed that the Cheonan's sonar system was old so that it had only 70% accuracy in detecting torpedoes in 2Km radius and only around 50% in the 30m shallow water at the scene of the incident.
● It is also doubtful over the fact that the North Korean submarine that had probably been dispatched after the sinking of the Cheonan had escaped without being detected even by the P3C patrol aircraft equipped with advanced radars.

4. Others
● There are several other questions but PSPD keeps eyes on the process of the accreditation conducted by the National Assembly, then it will raise unanswered issues.

Problem1. The military not disclosing and censoring basic information on the Cheonan vessel

Problem2. Hiding of the TOD video-recordings of the Cheonan breaking into half and sinking and changing of words

Problem3. Imposing political and legal measures and restrictions against ordinary citizens raising doubts

Problem4. The JIG practically excluding civilians

Problem5. The JIG that limited investigative efforts by civilian members

Problem6. Unknown roles of the foreign investigators

1. Objectives

● Despite the JIG final report on the cause of the Cheonan sinking on May 20, there are still many questions and doubts regarding the cause of the Cheonan sinking.
● Questions and doubts are being raised because the final report lacks credibility and partly because the military itself maintained no transparency and excluded others in the investigation process and method and forming and operation of the JIG.
● During the process of investigation the cause of the Cheonan sinking, the Lee administration and the military have shown the abuse of serious security power far from the basic principle of the civil democracy control such as (1) monopoly on information and misuse/abuse of military secretes, (2) non-disclosure, selective disclosure and disclosure at convenience of vital information, (3) abuse of legal restrictions to those people raising doubts.
● Thus, PSPD once again points out the problems that have arisen during the investigation of the Cheonan incident.

2. Problems with the military in censoring information and selective disclosure of information

Problem 1.
The military not disclosing and censoring basic information on the Cheonan vessel

● The Ministry of Defense has refuged all the requests by PSPD on the releasing of information on 16 items in 4 areas including the communication records and navigation routes of the Cheonan, according the Information Act, to determine the cause of the sinking clearly and objectively.
● The government and the military did not disclose or claimed that there was no record of basic information including the navigation routes, daily logs and records, KNTDS, TOD images of the sinking, and the broken surface and hull bottom immediately after recovery, stating that they are "military secretes"
● More seriously, they disclosed the severed surface and damaged parts critical to investigation immediately after recovery only partially so that the extent of real damage could not been determined.
● Testimonies by the survivors were limitedly disclosed through a press conference in the controlled environment.
● The military could have released the pertinent information transformed into a form of non-classified documents, and even if they were classified, it is very important to resolve any doubts for proving the attack by North Korea; however, it had not disclosed most of the documents by expanding the scope of national secretes.
● On the other hand, it had selectively disclosed the information on the information supporting the military's claim regardless of the information being classified.
● As a result, the people of Korea cannot know the basic information on the Cheonan incident such as what was the mission of the warship, where it was heading, where did it sink, how it sank, etc.

Problem 2.
Hiding of the TOD image-recordings of the Cheonan breaking into half and sinking and changing of words

● The military initially had claimed that there was no TOD images, but partially released these images three times on March 30, April 1 and April after refutation by military retirees. However, it did not release the TOD images at the time of the incident and claimed that the released images are all it had every time.
● However, reports followed later that there are no blind spots in taking TOD images because they are taken automatically, and the media reported testimonies from unanimous informants that they have seen images at the time of the incident. National Assembly person Lee Jung-hee also spoke of the same thing at the National Assembly.
● According to testimonies of unanimous witnesses, the Cheonan was sailing with no problem but suddenly broke into half after which the stern sank in five minutes and the bow after floating about 20 minutes on water suddenly tilted toward the right and started to sink. They said that there was no water column.
● Several military officers sued National Assembly person Lee for defamation. However, additional TOD images were released on May 30, claiming that the images were taken after 40 seconds of the incident. There had not been any apology for perjury and they claimed that the suit is still effective against the assembly member.

Problem 3.
Imposing political and legal measures and restrictions against ordinary citizens raising doubts

● The military also sued Dr. Park Sung-won, a former NSC(National Security Council) member and currently researcher at Brookings Institute in the US), who had raised doubts over a torpedo attack, and Shin Snag-cheol, civil member of the JIG recommended by Democratic Party are the representative cases of the government restricting those raising doubts against the Cheonan incident for defamation.
● The military also made a series of suits against ordinary citizens who raised the possibility of the Cheonan colliding with a US ship on the Internet.
● On the other hand, Asian studies scholar Kim Yong-ok, who lectured that he could not believe the investigative results released by the military and North Korea would be mortified if it were to be innocent, has been sued by a few conservative citizens based on National Security Law.

3. Problems with the JIG

Problem 4.
The JIG practically excluding civilians

● The list of the members of the joint civilian-military investigation group (JIG) that was put into investigation of the Cheonan incident on April 1 were not released from the beginning.
● When civilian organizations including PSPD raised issues with not involving civilians in the JIG, President Lee Myung-bak ordered to change the head of the JIG to a civilian on April 6 and KAIST honorary professor Yoon Duk-yong was appointed to head the JIG on April 11. However, no practically improvement was made even after this change.
● Despite the fact that the JIG naming 'civilian-military', it is not known where these civilians affiliated to and who exerted influence. The only information released by the media was that the JIG is composed of some 20 to 30 members and most of the so-called civilians were a former military serviceman, a former researcher of a military research center, or an executive of a shipbuilding company in the defense industry.
● It is not known that the number of members the JIG was composed with, but saying around 130 to 150 members.

Problem 5.
The JIG that limited investigative efforts by civilian members

● Shin Sang-cheol (recommended by Democratic Party) who revealed the status of JIG member on his own detested that the JIG did not provide even briefing materials and basic information needed for investigation such as the navigation course record, KNTDS, and the TOD records.
● He testified that the investigation was conducted based on the assumption that there had been a torpedo attack while excluding other possibilities from the consideration and no investigations were conducted for other possibilities.
● It means that the military conducted the investigation according to its plan and intention if civilian members' activities had been restricted.

Problems 6.
Unknown roles of the foreign investigators

● The JIG had been criticized for lacking transparency and independence so that the Lee administration revealed that it had requested four countries including the US to dispatch investigators (24 total) to join the JIG's efforts.
● However, there had not been official announcement from the government on the specific mission and roles of these foreign investigators.
● Thomas Eccles, head of the US investigators, agreed to all the results of the JIG investigation disclosed during the press conference. He stated that the investigation was done in close cooperation between Korea and the U.S. and agreed to it had been conducted based on testimonies and scientific analyses. However, he dodged the questions on the specific roles of foreign investigators. And General Park Jung-e who had been present at the press conference added that the results released on the day had been agreed by all foreign investigators.
● However, within his statement, it is not certain whether the foreign members had participated as observers or whether they played a more active role in fact-finding and finding the cause of sinking. Especially, there had not been any explanation on the roles of these foreign members in providing specific and vital analysis and information such as securing evidence of North Korean torpedo attack and the course charted by North Korean submarines or they just shared the investigation results proposed by the South Korean military. Thus, it is difficult to determine whether foreign investigators are an important group having the power to decide credibility of the investigation or not.