Okinawa

Letter of Demand to Mourn the Victim of the Murder Incident linked to the Former U.S. Marine, to Fully Investigate the Truth, and to Immediately Withdraw U.S. Military Forces in Okinawa:

May 20, 2016
Mr. Barack Obama, President of the United States
Ms. Caroline Kennedy, United States Ambassador to Japan
Mr. Lawrence D. Nicholson, United States Military Okinawa Area Coordinator (OAC)
Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan
Mr. Yoshihide Suga, Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan

Mr. Takeshi Onaga, Governor of Okinawa Prefecture

Letter of Demand to Mourn the Victim of the Murder Incident linked to the Former U.S. Marine, to Fully Investigate the Truth, and to Immediately Withdraw U.S. Military Forces in Okinawa

A day ago on May 19, a woman who had been missing since the end of April, was found dead, and a former U.S. Marine soldier was arrested as the suspect. As we face this harrowing incident, we grope for words to say. We cannot help but to feel our rage welling up in us with pain.

But we’ve also begun to hear remarks from those who neglect to attend to such rage and suffering. They seek to evade responsibility, reduce the graveness of the incident, and treat it as part of a political game. In such a circumstance, we cannot choose to be silent. We have gathered here to raise our voices.

First and foremost, we mourn the loss of a precious life that has been taken away. We demand that people who have cared for her not be deprived of their time and opportunity to remember her.

We cannot calm our raging hearts as we try to imagine how much fear and suffering she must have been in. Those of us who live in Okinawa are shocked beyond words as we recognize that this could have happened to us. So we stand together in pain and suffering.

We have been torn numerous times by remarks and attitudes that degrade the victims of military violence in Okinawa, where the continuing presence of the military bases and troops has been imposed upon for decades. We strongly demand that the dignity of the victimized person be respected.

In mid-March this year, a U.S. soldier sexually assaulted a woman at a hotel in Naha. At that time, Lt. General and US Military’s Okinawa Area Coordinator Lawrence D. Nicholson apologized to Okinawa Prefecture’s Governor Takeshi Onaga and remarked, “Today, I came here to represent 27,000 uniformed members, 17,000 families, 4,000 civilians, 50,000 Americans.” A mere two months have passed. Has the U.S. military failed again to keep its promise to enforce strict discipline and take preventive measures? How will it fulfill these responsibilities?

We have always insisted that “the military is an organization of structural violence and does not protect human security in times of war or peace.” Military bases and troops have profoundly destroyed human bodies and spirits, and this has been the case within and outside the fences. We urge each and every member of the U.S. troops, the civilian employees of U.S. military, and their families that are stationing in Okinawa: mourn, rage, and voice your protest in solidarity with us. Please do not act as if you have nothing to do with this.

We strongly urge both U.S. and Japanese governments, US military forces, and Okinawa Prefecture to face the reality brought by the presence of the bases and troops and take actions responsibly. For these purposes, we strongly demand from them the following:

1. We demand that those who have been close to the victim receive proper apology and care.
2. We demand that the truth of the incident be thoroughly investigated and the perpetrator be rigorously punished.

3. We demand that all military bases and troops in Okinawa be withdrawn so that we can achieve truly safe society for people living in Okinawa.

Signers:
Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence, Committee for One-Stop Assistance Center, Rape Emergence Intervention Counselling Center Okinawa (REICO), Group on Gender Issues, Women’s Groups Liaison Council, New Japan Women’s Association, Okinawa Prefecture Mothers’ Congress Liaison Committee, Okinawa Teachers Union, Okinawa Senior High School Teachers Union, SEALDs Ryukyu、Mothers Against War Okinawa, Naha Broccoli, Citizens Group Wankara, Peace Camp Okinawa Preparatory Committee, Project Disagree, Concerned Students in Okinawa Prefecture, the Nago Council against the Construction of the U.S. On-Sea Heliport and for Peace, We Planning, Korea-Okinawa People’s Alliance, WILPF Kyoto, Citizen’s Study Group on International Law, Yomitan Group against the Strengthen of Torii Military Station and Support Autonomy Regulations, “Start from here, Now”, Hawaii Peace and Justice、HOA: Hawaii Okinawa Alliance

アメリカ合衆国大統領 バラク・オバマ 殿
在日米国大使館 キャロライン・ケネディ 殿
在沖米軍 ローレンス・ニコルソン四軍調整官 殿
内閣総理大臣 安倍晋三 殿
内閣官房長官 菅義偉 殿

沖縄県知事 翁長雄志 殿

元米軍海兵隊兵士の事件被害者を追悼し、十分な対応と真相究明、
米軍の撤退を求める要求書

昨日、5月19日、先月末から行方不明になっていた女性が遺体で発見され、元海兵隊員で軍属の男性が容疑者として逮捕されました。この痛ましい現実に直面し、何を言うべきなのか。怒りが痛みを持って沸き上がるのを押さえることが出来ません。
この怒りや悲しみに心を配らず、責任回避や矮小化、政治の駆け引き事のように取り沙汰しようとする声も聞こえ始めています。このようなとき、沈黙を選んではならない。私たちは声を発するためにここに集いました。

私たちは何よりもまず、奪われた尊い命を悼みます。彼女を大切にしてきた人びとが、彼女を想うための時間と機会が損なわれることのないよう、求めます。

私たちは、彼女がどれほどの恐怖と苦しみのなかにあったか、荒ぶるような心を鎮めることが出来ません。沖縄に暮らす私たちはみな、自分にも起こり得たことだと、言葉を失い、その痛み苦しみを共にしています。

私たちは、基地・軍隊の長期駐留が押し付けられている沖縄で、幾度となく繰り返される事件のたびに、被害者を貶める発言や態度にも、幾度となく引き裂かれてきました。被害に遭った人の尊厳が守られるよう、強く求めたいと思います。

今年3月中旬、那覇市内のホテルで女性が米兵による性暴力の被害に遭ったときに、在沖米軍のローレンス・ニコルソン四軍調整官は、「沖縄にいる米軍人、 家族、軍属の合計5万人を代表する」と発言して、翁長知事に謝罪しています。あれから2ヶ月しか経っていません。綱紀粛正・再発防止の約束は、また反故に されたのでしょうか。この責任はどのように果たされるのでしょうか。

私たちは「軍隊は構造的暴力組織であり、平時と戦時とを問わず、人間の安全を保障しない」と訴え続けてきました。基地・軍隊は、人間の心と身体を深刻な までに破壊しており、それはフェンスの内と外とを問いません。沖縄に駐留する米軍人・軍属・家族のひとりひとりにも呼びかけます。自分たちには関係ないと いう態度は許されません。私たちと共に悼み、怒り、抗議の声を上げて下さい。

私たちは、日米両政府、米軍、沖縄県に対して、基地・軍隊の駐留がもたらすこのような現実を直視し、責任ある行動を執るよう、以下のことを強く要求します。

一、被害者を取り巻く人びとへの謝罪とケアが丁寧に行われること。
一、真実が究明され、加害者への厳正な処罰が行われること。
一、沖縄に暮らす人びとの真に安全な社会を実現するため、沖縄から全ての基地・軍隊の撤退を求める。

2016年5月20日

基地・軍隊を許さない行動する女たちの会、ワンストップ支援センターの設立を強く望む会、強姦救援センター・沖縄(REICO)、ジェンダー問題を考える 会、女団協、I女性会議、新日本婦人の会、沖縄県母親大会連絡会、沖教組、高教組、SEALDs琉球、安保法案に反対するママの会@沖縄、那覇ブロッコ リー、わんから市民の会、ピースキャンプ沖縄準備会、合意してないプロジェクト、沖縄県内学生有志、ヘリ基地反対協、Weぷらんにんぐ、沖韓民衆連帯、 WILPF京都、国際法市民研究会、トリイ基地の強化に反対し読谷村自治基本条例を生かす会、「今、ここからはじめよう」、Hawaii Peace and Justice、HOA: Hawaii Okinawa Alliance

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