VFP Members Travel to Japan

December 15, 2016

The following is an excerpt from "The Antiwar Tour" by Rory Fanning

"Michael Hanes, a former Marine Force Recon (the Marines’ version of the Navy Seals) staff sergeant, who was part of the initial 2003 US invasion of Iraq, and I, a former US Army Ranger — I was deployed to Afghanistan between late 2002 and 2004 before becoming a war resister — recently toured the country on a trip sponsored by Veterans for Peace and a group within the Japanese American Bar Association (JABA) dedicated to protecting Article 9. An organizer and translator, Rachel Clark, a Japanese-born US citizen, accompanied us. We spoke twice a day to as many as ten thousand people in total."

"We aimed to express solidarity with those opposing the 50,000 US troops stationed in the 122 US military sites inside of Japan, and to help this emerging antiwar movement expose the many dangers and lies that accompany militarization.

“Every one of the million or so deaths — the vast majority being innocent civilians — resulting from US military interventions around the world since 9/11 has been carried out in the name of ‘self-defense.’ Please don’t let your government sell you that same false argument to repeal Article 9,” we stated every time we spoke during each of our two talks a day in venues across Japan for eight days, including before the A-bomb dome at the Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima in front of a half-dozen Japanese news cameras.

Further, we issued an apology on behalf of all Americans who oppose the unjustified US firebombing of Tokyo, and the atomic blasts in Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II — something President Obama failed to do when he visited Hiroshima in May 2016."

Read the full article!


Recent message from Mike Hanes during his recent trip:

"I am halfway finished with the tour here in mainland Japan.  We have been making a huge effect here in Japan.  Every event is packed with people interested in our message.  It is a very tight schedule, constantly going place to place speaking to 100's of people.  When we spoke at the diet, there were 3,400 people present.  We have talked to upper and lower house members, university students, activist groups, and middle school kids.  Our voice has reached thousands with media coverage left and right.  A huge event was placing the wreath at the Hiroshima memorial and to apologize for the atomic bombings when Obama declined to do so.  We are also finding huge support for Okinawa among our audiences.  This has been a very effective and impactful trip."