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US for Okinawa
Solidarity Statement for Okinawa
Northeast Asia Regional Peacebuilding Institute (NARPI) Steering Committee
April 25, 2010
Seoul, Republic of Korea
The Steering Committee for the Northeast Asia Regional Peacebuilding Institute (NARPI), currently meeting in Seoul, Republic of Korea, expresses its solidarity to the Okinawan people on this day of action and our support for their call for peace, demilitarization and respect for the will of the people. NARPI provides peacebuilding training, in both theory and practice, for Northeast Asian people, using education to transform a culture of militarism and violence to a culture of peace.
We, the representatives from China, India, Japan, Mongolia, Taiwan, the Republic of Korea and Russia, acknowledge that the existence of armaments and military bases promote rather than deter conflict; and that particularly considering the remnant Cold War structures in Northeast Asia, the global realignment and build-up of US military forces poses a serious threat to the region. The presence of these bases, as experienced throughout Northeast Asia, only serves to exacerbate violence, conflict, pollution, environmentaldegradation, and the escalation of existing conflicts and an arms race within the region. We are deeply concerned that the external military presence in the region hampers progress towards regional solidarity, cooperation and peaceful cooexistence.
Furthermore, if the vast resources expended on the military in Northeast Asia – including on the hosting of US bases - were diverted to human needs, many of the urgent issues of potential conflict, disparity and development within the region could be addressed.
We believe that sustainable peace can be created through respect for local democratic processes, disarmament and demilitarisation, developing humanrelationships and education for peace. Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution and the Mongolian Single State Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone are viable alternatives to shift from military security to human security.
We, of the civil society in Northeast Asia, therefore support the overwhelming call for the closure of the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station, and call on the Japanese and United States Governments to honour the democratic decision of the Okinawan people. Furthermore, we express our opposition to any new military base construction in Okinawa or anywhere else, including Gangjeong Village in Jeju Island, Republic of Korea. We stand in solidarity with the people of Okinawa, and their hundreds of thousands of supporters throughout Japan, Northeast Asia and the world, to pledge to work together for a base-free Okinawa, and for the creation of a demilitarised, sustainable peace for Northeast Asia.