On January 14, 2018, the Conference on U.S. Foreign Military Bases held in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, organized by Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases — consisting of more than 250 peace, justice and environmental organizations from around the world — heard from Okinawans, and members of the Veterans For Peace from the United States who recently visited Okinawa to add their voices to the growing chorus opposed to the presence of U.S. military bases on the island.
We are aware of the terrible role that U.S. bases on Okinawa have played in the destruction of the environment and of the many criminal acts of U.S. military personnel, including rape and murder against the people of Okinawa.
We are also aware of the central role that the U.S. bases on Okinawa played during the criminal war waged by the U.S. against the people of Vietnam and the present-day role they play in the aggressive military presence of the U.S. in the entire region.
On the basis of these facts, the Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases and all of the Conference participants unanimously demand that all charges against Hiroji Yamashiro, and his co-defendants Hiroshi Inaba and Atsuhiro Soeda, be dropped and all attempts to silence the people of Okinawa in their just quest to rid their homeland of the many U.S. military bases be stopped.
The Coalition further pledges to support the case of Hiroji Yamashiro, Hiroshi Inaba, Atsuhiro Soeda, and to publicize their cases in the U.S. and to raise the demand that all U.S. military bases be removed from Okinawa.
Coordinating Committee of the Coalition
Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases
January 15, 2018
From the Justice For Hiroji Page
"Ever since the destruction and then occupation of Okinawa by the US military after WW2, the people of Okinawa have resented and peacefully protested this oppressive war machine in their land.
Hiroji Yamashiro is a prominent leader of the protest movement against the presence and ongoing growth of US military bases on Okinawa. In 2017, Mr. Yamashiro was held in pretrial solitary confinement for 152 days for very minor offenses. With a colleague, he cut some barbed wire in protest of new helipads being built in the pristine jungles of Takae. With another colleague, he built a simple, symbolic barricade in front of a gate used for hauling in construction materials being used to destroy a coral reef and fill in a bay to build a massive new Marine Air Station and deep-water port in Henoko. His imprisonment was disproportionate to these acts of civil disobedience, and he was clearly being held in isolation to silence his voice. After 5 months he was only released as a direct result of growing international attention and pressure, including from Amnesty International, the United Nations and other groups around the world.
The prosecutor recommends Mr. Yamashiro be sentenced to 2 ½ years at hard labor. Now that the verdicts for Hiroji Yamashiro and two other defendants, Hiroshi Inaba and Atsuhiro Soeda, are expected to be given on March 14, we think pressure from overseas on the judiciary system is again needed in the name of Justice, Freedom and Democracy."
"Justice for Hiroji" campaign is organized by Okinawa Peace Appeal. Visit and join in our FB group "Okinawa Peace Appeal in English"
To see coverage from the Peace Report, "Hiroji Yamashiro: a leader of the Okinawa Movement Against U.S. Military Bases"