For Immediate Release
Close US Military Bases in Japan and Okinawa; Rally During Secretary of State HIllary Clinton's Foreign Policy Speech
WHERE: In front of the Imin Center, East West Center, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will make a major foreign policy address on the U.S. vision for Asia-Pacific multilateral engagement on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010 at 2pm, at the East-West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii.
During her visit to Hawaii, she will meet with Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada to discuss the fate of the U.S. Marine Corps airfield at Futenma in Okinawa. The U.S. and Japan agreed in 2006 to move Futenma to another part of Okinawa. However, Okinawa residents oppose the move and want the airfield to be shut down. The U.S. military is planning on moving 8,000 U.S. Marines and 34,000 Marine families and contractors to Guam increasing the population of the island by 25%.
Members of American Friends Service Committee, DMZ Hawaii and other grassroots organizations will rally at 1pm in front of the Inman Center of the East West Center in support of demilitarizing Japan and Okinawa and not moving U.S. Marines to the Pacific Island of Guam.
AFSC coordinator Kyle Kajihiro said, "The U.S. is relying on Japan building an additional airbase in a pristine area of Okinawa and transferring some Marines from Okinawa to Guam. The U.S. is also depending on Japan to kick in $6 billion to help fund the buildup on Guam. However, Japan doesn't want to build another base and it has been questioning the exorbitant expenses of the buildup, such as $775,000 per housing unit. We support efforts of citizens of Okinawa to remove US bases and of citizens of Guam to not move US Marines to Guam."
Ann Wright, retired US Army Reserve Colonel and former U.S. diplomat, who just returned from ten days in Egypt with the Gaza Freedom March, said that Clinton's presence in Hawaii "is an opportunity for citizens to raise their voices on international policies with which they disagree. I can not be silent as the United States continues to blindly support Israeli aggression on Gaza and refuses to take strong measures against Israeli theft of Palestinian land in illegal settlements."