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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Women Cross DMZ: "Every step for peace is important!."


Via journalist Tim Shorrock: "Every step for peace is important!" "We're here because we don't believe in war!

The women who just crossed the DMZ include Suzuyo Takazato, co-founder of Okinawa Women Against Military Violence, Ann Wright), Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire, an Article 9 & Okinawa supporter, Christine Ahn, a Korea scholar & Okinawa supporter.

This action reflects the decades of cross-border interconnections between networks working for peace and democracy for the all of East Asia and the world.  Women peacemakers, working at multiple levels of society, are leading the way.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Tim Shorrock on the Kwanju Uprising in 1980 & Women Cross DMZ on May 24, 2015



Via our friend, journalist Tim Shorrockwho traveled to Korea this week to receive an honorary citizenship of Kwangju  and to report on the Women Cross DMZ.

On May 24, 2015, Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire, Gloria Steinem, Christine Ahn, and Suzuyo Takazato, founder of Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence. and  26 international women peacemakers from around the world will walk with Korean women, north and south, to call for an end to the Korean War and for a new beginning for a reunified Korea. They will cross the 2-mile wide De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) that separates millions of Korean families as a symbolic act of peace.

Tim Shorrock, the son of missionaries, grew up in Japan. His parents were  colleagues of Toyohiko Kagawa, a Presbyterian minister who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his prewar and postwar peace activism in Japan and East Asia.  Shorrock is one of the most insightful and sensitive observers of Japan, Korea, and East Asia.  His cross-border upbringing has given up a wide field of vision on this history, and his perspectives are always deeply grounded in humanitarian and democratic values.

His investigative reportage exposed the US role in South Korea in 1979 and 1980 when the  Carter administration supported the South Korean military "as it moved to crush the Kwangju Uprising, the largest citizens’ rebellion in the south since the Korean War ended in 1953."
As a journalist, I’ve been intimately involved with Kwangju since the first days of the uprising. In May 1980, as a student activist at the University of Oregon, I helped distribute some of the first on-scene reports of the military atrocities in Kwangju smuggled out of South Korea by Christian human rights groups and American missionaries.

Later that decade, I was one of the only journalists to visit Kwangju and document what had happened there. And over the course of the 1990s I obtained nearly 4,000 declassified documents that repudiated the official U.S. story that American officials and generals had no involvement in the events that led up to the rebellion.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Chie Mikami's Stop the Battlefield - Opens May 23, 2015 in Tokyo




Chie Mikami's Stop the Battlefield opens May 23 in Tokyo:
『戦場ぬ止み(いくさばぬとぅどぅみ)』劇場予告編

2014年8月14日辺野古沖は「包囲」された。沖縄は再び戦場になった。沖縄で今、­何が起きているのか?

「標的の村」の三上智恵監督が描く沖縄と辺野古。激しい対立だけを描くだけではない。­基地と折り合って生きざるをえなかった地域の人々の思いと来し方。苦難の歴史のなかで­も大切に育まれた豊かな文化や歴史。厳しい闘争の最中でも絶えることのない歌とユーモ­ア。いくさに翻弄され続けた70年に終止符を打ちたいという沖縄の切なる願いを今、世­界に問う。

ポレポレ東中野にて、5月23日(土)より緊急先行公開。7月11日より桜坂劇場、7­/18よりポレポレ東中野にて本上映。
Translation/Synopsis: 

On Aug. 14, 2014, the Siege of Henoko began when the Jp govt. sent a military flotilla against locals protecting their beloved natural cultural heritage, the coral reef & dugong ecosystem. Okinawa was once again a battlefield.

What is happening in Henoko now? Under much hardship, locals have nurtured the rich culture and history of Henoko. They withstand their severe struggle with song and humor. The earnest desire of Okinawans is to end the 70-year military regime at which they have been at mercy. They are asking the world for help.

The film opens at an emergency screening on May 23 at Theater Pole Pole in Nishi-Nakano, Tokyo.

Theater: Address B1F, 4-4-1 Higashi-Nakano, Nakano-ku, Tokyo
Transport Higashi-Nakano Station (Chuo-Sobu, Oedo lines)

Theater website: http://www.mmjp.or.jp/pole2/

Film FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/ikusaba.movie

Film website: http://ikusaba.com/

Sunday, May 17, 2015

35,000+ rally in unison to protect the marine life at Henoko, Okinawa's most beloved natural cultural heritage site • Coral scientist Katherine Muzik & filmmaker Oliver Stone share messages of support • Hayao Miyazaki joins Henoko fundraising group

Via peace photojournalist Takashi Morizumi

35,000+ rallied in unison today at Naha, the capitol of Okinawa, to call for the protection the marine life at Henoko, Okinawa's most beloved natural cultural heritage site: the only dugong habitat, and last fully intact (and healthiest, most biodiverse) coral reef in the entire prefecture.

Marine biologist Katherine Musik:
The rally right now in Okinawa is absolutely tremendous. Tens of thousands of voices, right now, shouting together, "NO", in perfect harmony! "NO" to the US military presence, how powerful!

Let's all shout, "Yes" to the blue corals, red sea fans, orange clownfish, "Yes" to the endangered dugongs in the sea, the endangered birds (yambaru quina, noguchi gera) in the forest!

"No" to imperialism, "Yes" to island autonomy!
Oliver Stone's message:
You have my respect and support for your protest on May 17. I cannot be with you in person, but in spirit. Your cause is a just one.

A new mega‐base built in the name of ‘deterrence’ is a lie. Another lie told by the American Empire to further its own goal of domination throughout the world. Fight this monster. Others like you are fighting it on so many fronts throughout the globe. It is a fight for peace, sanity, and the preservation of a beautiful world.
Muzik and Stone are part of a group of international scholars, peace advocates and artists, working behind the scenes to support Okinawa. In January 2014, they issued a statement and petition given to representatives of the US and Japanese governments:
We oppose construction of a new US military base within Okinawa, and support the people of Okinawa in their struggle for peace, dignity, human rights and protection of the environment

We the undersigned oppose the deal made at the end of 2013 between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Governor of Okinawa Hirokazu Nakaima to deepen and extend the military colonization of Okinawa at the expense of the people and the environment. Using the lure of economic development, Mr. Abe has extracted approval from Governor Nakaima to reclaim the water off [landfill] Henoko, on the northeastern shore of Okinawa, to build a massive new U.S. Marine air base with a military port.

Plans to build the base at Henoko have been on the drawing board since the 1960s.  They were revitalized in 1996, when the sentiments against US military bases peaked following the rape of a twelve year-old Okinawan child by three U.S. servicemen. In order to pacify such sentiments, the US and Japanese governments planned to close Futenma Marine Air Base in the middle of Ginowan City and  move its functions to a new base to be constructed at Henoko, a site of extraordinary biodiversity and home to the endangered marine mammal dugong.

Marine biologist Katherine Muzik with Henoko elder community leader Fumiko Shimabukuro
Governor Nakaima’s reclamation approval does not reflect the popular will of the people of Okinawa.  Immediately before the gubernatorial election of 2010, Mr. Nakaima, who had previously accepted the new base construction plan, changed his position and called for relocation of the Futenma base outside the prefecture. He won the election by defeating a candidate who had consistently opposed the new base. Polls in recent years have shown that 70 to 90 percent of the people of Okinawa opposed the Henoko base plan. The poll conducted immediately after Nakaima’s recent reclamation approval showed that 72.4 percent of the people of Okinawa saw the governor’s decision as a “breach of his election pledge.” The reclamation approval was a betrayal of the people of Okinawa.

73.8 percent of the US military bases (those for exclusive US use) in Japan are concentrated in Okinawa, which is only .6 percent of the total land mass of Japan. 18.3 percent of the Okinawa Island is occupied by the US military. Futenma Air Base originally was built during the 1945 Battle of Okinawa by US forces in order to prepare for battles on the mainland of Japan. They simply usurped the land from local residents. The base should have been returned to its owners after the war, but the US military has retained it even though now almost seven decades have passed. Therefore, any conditional return of the base is fundamentally unjustifiable.
Oliver Stone meeting Henoko elder community leaders in 2013
The new agreement would also perpetuate the long suffering of the people of Okinawa. Invaded in the beginning of the 17th century by Japan and annexed forcefully into the Japanese nation at the end of 19th century, Okinawa was in 1944 transformed into a fortress to resist advancing US forces and thus to buy time to protect the Emperor System.  The Battle of Okinawa killed more than 100,000 local residents, about a quarter of the island’s population. After the war, more bases were built under the US military occupation. Okinawa “reverted” to Japan in 1972, but the Okinawans’ hope for the removal of the military bases was shattered. Today, people of Okinawa continue to suffer from crimes and accidents, high decibel aircraft noise and environmental pollution caused by the bases. Throughout these decades, they have suffered what the U.S. Declaration of Independence denounces as “abuses and usurpations,” including the presence of foreign “standing armies without the consent of our legislatures.”

Not unlike the 20th century U.S. Civil Rights struggle, Okinawans have non-violently pressed for the end to their military colonization. They tried to stop live-fire military drills that threatened their lives by entering the exercise zone in protest; they formed human chains around military bases to express their opposition; and about a hundred thousand people, one tenth of the population have turned out periodically for massive demonstrations. Octogenarians initiated the campaign to prevent the construction of the Henoko base with a sit-in that has been continuing for years. The prefectural assembly passed resolutions to oppose the Henoko base plan. In January 2013, leaders of all the 41 municipalities of Okinawa signed the petition to the government to remove the newly deployed MV-22 Osprey from Futenma base and to give up the plan to build a replacement base in Okinawa.

We support the people of Okinawa in their non-violent struggle for peace, dignity, human rights and protection of the environment. The Henoko marine base project must be canceled and Futenma returned forthwith to the people of Okinawa.

Hayao Miyazaki
Last month, anime creator Hayao Miyazaki joined a new high-profile Okinawa- and Japan-based group raising funds for to support Governor Onaga's campaign to save Henoko. The group is buying advertising space in US newspapers  to counter the dearth of media reportage on the daily protests at Henoko and the All-Okinawan Movement. The most comprehensive report on this latest was posted at the pop media site, Rocket News' "Hayao Miyazaki joins politicians and CEOs donating millions to protest U.S. military in Okinawa".

Last fall,  Miyazaki, sent a  handwritten message to a former chairman of the Okinawan Prefectural Assembly, Toshinobu Nakazato, who has been enlisting the support of famous people from across Japan to support the movement to save the coral reef and dugong habitat in Henoko and the adjacent Yambaru subtropical rainforest, both which are threatened by US military training base expansion. Miyazaki's message stated, “Demilitarization in Okinawa is essential for peace in East Asia," which is consistent with the anime director's pacifist and ecologically oriented themes.

Friday, May 15, 2015

May 17: All-Okinawa Mass Rally for Preservation of Henoko, an indigenous sacred site, & Okinawa's most important natural cultural heritage site, habitat of the Okinawa dugong & the last fully intact coral reef in all of Okinawa


Via our friend, Dr. Masami Mel Kawamura, at Okinawa Outreach:
On May 17, a mass rally will be held at the Okinawa Cellular Stadium in Naha, Okinawa to demonstrate Okinawa’s determination to stop the construction of a US military base in Henoko and Oura Bay in northern Okinawa.

With this year marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the battle of Okinawa and of the World War II, this rally will certainly be one of the most important rallies held in Okinawa against the detrimental legacies of the war.

The people of Okinawa have suffered enough from the continuing immense presence of US military, which still occupies 18 % of Okinawa Island today. And for the last 19 years, the people have also suffered from the US and Japanese governments’ reckless pursuit of the Henoko base plan and their complete disregard for Okinawa’s democratic voice against the plan.

While the US and Japanese governments continue to do their talk in Tokyo or Washington, we the people of Okinawa know that the real struggle site that counts most is here in Okinawa. We are determined to fight through to protect our sea, our land, and our life.

Featuring Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga, along with other distinguished speakers, the rally will show how the people of Okinawa are united with each other and with supporters from around the world in our fight against the Henoko base construction.

When: Rally starts at 1:00 am on May 17, 2015

Where: Okinawa Cellular Stadium, in Naha
Reverend Kinoshita of Nippon Myohoji
witnessing for the protection of Henoko,
an indigenous sacred site, with shrines & rituals going back millennia, 
and Okinawa's most important natural cultural heritage site, 
habitat of the Okinawa dugong & the last fully intact coral reef in all of Okinawa. 
(Photo via our friends at Blue Vigil in Solidarity with Okinawa in NYC

Saturday, May 2, 2015

5/3 - Available for online viewing: John Junkerman's Japan's Peace Constitution


Full-length version of John Junkerman's 2005 documentary film, Japan's Peace Constitution available for online viewing from 5/3, Constitution Day, until 5/7, courtesy of Siglo Films: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1gQtnDvMfM&feature=youtu.be. Film description:
This timely, hard-hitting documentary places the ongoing debate over the constitution in an international context: What will revision mean to Japan's neighbors, Korea and China? How has the US-Japan military alliance warped the constitution and Japan's role in the world? How is the unprecedented involvement of Japan's Self-Defense Force in the occupation of Iraq perceived in the Middle East?

Through interviews conducted with leading thinkers around the world, the film explores the origins of the Constitution in the ashes of war and the significance of its peace clauses in the conflicted times of the early 21st century. Key interviews include:

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian John Dower

Paris-based social theorist Hidaka Rokuro

Beate Sirota Gordon, drafter of the equal-rights clause of the Constitution

Political philosopher and activist Douglas Lummis

Political scientist Chalmers Johnson

Kang Man-Gil, president of Sangji University, South Korea

Shin Heisoo, co-representative, Korean Council for Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan

Korean historian Han Hong Koo

Chinese filmmaker and writer Ban Zhongyi

Syrian writer Michel Kilo

Lebanese journalist Josef Samaha

Linguist and social critic Noam Chomsky

Director John Junkerman is an American filmmaker, living in Tokyo. His first film, Hellfire: A Journey from Hiroshima, was coproduced with John Dower and nominated for an Academy Award. His 2002 film, Power and Terror: Noam Chomsky in Our Times, also produced by Siglo, received widespread theatrical distribution in Japan, the US, and Europe.

A companion book in Japanese, including the complete interviews with John Dower, Hidaka Rokuro, Chalmers Johnson, Noam Chomsky, Beate Sirota Gordon, and Han Hong Koo has been published by Foil.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

"Okinawa's Future: Democracy or Military Dictatorship?" Last Day of WaPo Okinawa ad on the Online Opinion Page

Okinawa's Future: Democracy or Military Dictatorship?

Today is the last day of the 3-day Okinawa ad at the online Washington Post's Opinion Page.  The ad was taken out by The Okinawa Protest Advertising Action, an Okinawan group that, like all of Okinawa's civil society and government, opposes the Jp-US governments' plan to forcibly landfill and construction of a US military training base at Okinawa's most important natural cultural heritage site—against the will of the Okinawan prefectural government and citizens. As Okinawan Governor Takeshi Onaga has explained clearly in the past month, the Okinawan government and people have never consented to any U.S. military bases on their lands.


Every village, town, and city in Okinawa is united in opposing the planned construction of a new U.S. military airbase. If the plan goes ahead, the coral reef and sea-grass ecosystems at Oura Bay, Henoko, will be sealed under 740 million cubic feet of landfill to make way for U.S. military runways. This act of environmental vandalism will destroy the habitat of countless endangered species, including one of the world’s most threatened marine mammals, the Okinawan dugong, a species which on paper, though not in reality, is protected by U.S. and Japanese law...

After 2 decades of resisting the Henoko plan, and what in any genuine democracy would be regarded as decisive elections held in 2014, the people of Okinawa made their views clear to Washington and Tokyo...

On April 29, PM Abe, in an address to a joint meeting of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, is expected to tell President Obama and the American people that base construction in Okinawa is going according to plan, and even that the project will strengthen U.S. -Jp bilateral relations.

Pragmatists as well as idealists within the U.S. admin would do well to question this version of events. Some 60 years ago, during another period of unrest in Okinawa known as the Island Wide Struggle, U.S. troops forcibly removed Okinawans from their land using bulldozers and bayonets. At the time, senior U.S. diplomats warned of Okinawa becoming ungovernable, and  the most heavy-handed tactics of the period were abandoned in favor of negotiation.

Attempting to impose a new base on Okinawa by force, which appears to be the only option currently being considered by U.S. & Jp officials, threatens to repeat the mistakes of that period, at the same time undermining Washington and Tokyo’s credibility as agents of democracy, freedom and human rights.
See the entire ad here: http://www.okinawaiken.org/washingtonpost2015/.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

反省: When "remorse" is not remorse. Translation games during PM Abe visit to the US.

反省

When "remorse" is not remorse.

One key to deciphering PM Abe's expected verbal gymnastics while in the US may be his use of the word 反省 (hansei), officially translated as "remorse" in English, but which does not suggest apologetic feelings or admission of wrong-doing in Japanese.  An alternative translation would be "thoughtful reflection."

Using this word, as scholar Tessa Morris-Suzuki has pointed out in "Japanese war apologies lost in translation," published at East Asia Forum, allows Abe to deliver two different messages. In the West, people receive the misleading impression that he is being penitent and admitting Jp aggression, whereas in Japan and elsewhere in East Asia, people understand such a response as vague evasion of responsibility.

Monday, April 27, 2015

New Face of Empire v. the Anti-War Committee of 1000: No base in Henoko, Okinawa! NO WAR 4.26 Shibuya Sound Parade & 4.27 "Protect the Peace Constitution" Action

(Photo: Anti-War Committee of 1000)
The Anti-War Committee of 1000 (co-founded last year by Nobel Prize Laureate Kenzaburo Oe, former Okinawa Gov. Masahide Ota,and other Japanese and Okinawan social and cultural leaders) brought the ubiquitous pink Okinawa Dugong balloon to Tokyo's Shibuya district on Sunday for the No base in Henoko, Okinawa! NO WAR 4.26 Shibuya sound parade. About 1000 people attended the "NO WAR in Shibuya! Solidarity in the struggle for Okinawa" rally, which overlapped with the Rainbow Pride parade.

(Photo: Anti-War Committee of 1000)

This is one of the many ongoing  protests in mainland Japan and Okinawa, opposing the Abe administration goal of reviving the Japanese wartime military order under US hegemony. Many onlookers see in the domestic struggle as a replay of the prewar Japanese political contest between pacifists and militarists.  And as a replay of the massive protests against the 1960 US-Japan Security Treaty (ANPO) forced through the Japanese Diet by PM Abe's grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi. The main point of opposition was that it would allow U.S. military bases to remain on Japanese and Okinawan soil.

Hundreds of thousands protested passing of the
 Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the US andJapan (ANPO) 
that PM Nobusuke Kishi, grandfather of PM Abe, forced through 
the Japanese Diet on May 20, 1960, at the sacrifice of his political career. 

On Monday, the Anti-War Committee of 1000 held another rally at the PM's residence to protest the Abe administration's revision of US-Japan military guidelines which call for the increased integration of the US and Japanese militaries. Approximately 800 people participated in the 4.27 action.

The US has pushed for military integration with Asian countries since the first years of the Cold War.  President Eisenhower articulated the key concept in the early 1950s: "If there must be a war there in Asia, let it be Asians against Asians."  The Nixon Doctrine announced in Guam in 1969 consolidated the US government idea of international military integration under US domination. In a1970 analysis, "Asia and the Nixon Doctrine: The New Face of Empire," a chapter in Open Secret: The Kissinger-Nixon Doctrine in Asia, Historian John Dower's description its rationale and larger meaning also applies to the ongoing integration:
...fundamentally a cost-conscious policy, aimed at maintaining a major U.S. role in Asia at less cost in both dollars and American lives. This combination has been given the policy a racist cast perhaps best illustrated by Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker's comment that [this] means changing 'the color of the corpses...

While the primary thrust of the Doctrine is military and budgetary, this thrust interlocks with important considerations concerning the future economic development of Asia...

(Photo: Anti-War Committee of 1000)

Dower added that the US military and economic globalization strategy dated back to the Truman era:
...represents ittle more than the new face of American empire. It applies cosmetics to the scarred strategies of the past; here and there, where the old features of imperium have become particularly battered, there is even a bit of strategic plastic surgery. At this stage in history, after..decades of often tragic American policy in Asia, one looks for new questions, sensibilities, and committments which strike to the root of affairs...Upon close examination, it is fundamentally not even a new policy, but rather a pastiche of rhetoric and programs familiar since the early years of the cold war

(I)...containment remains the framework of miiltary strategy...and the U.S has reaffirmed its commitment to counterrevolution.

(II)The network of American bases and manpower commitments abroad is being rationalized and restructured, not reconsidered.

(III) Client armies are being developed to replace American combat troops in crusades largely defined by Washington and at costs to both Asia and the U.S. which are as yet incalculable...

(V) The possibility of the United States initiating nuclear wr in Asia has been immeasurably increased.

(VI) Economic policies remain structured in such a way that many Asian countries face  the prospect of becoming locked into permanent dependency as the neocolonies of the US...
(Photo: Anti-War Committee of 1000)

More:

The guidelines for Japan-U.S. defense cooperation have been revised for the first time in 18 years.

The new guidelines, which confirm the direction of the security policies of the Japanese and the U.S. governments, call for “seamless” and “global” security cooperation between the two countries. They will accelerate the “integration” of the Self-Defense Forces with U.S. forces...

Underlying the revision is the Abe administration’s policy initiative to change the government’s traditional interpretation of the Constitution to allow Japan to exercise its right to collective self-defense. This radical shift in security policy was formally endorsed by the Cabinet’s resolution in July last year.

Proposed security legislation in line with the Cabinet decision is the focus of the current Diet session. Although the Diet has yet to start debating the legislation, the new guidelines already reflect the Cabinet decision to make it possible for Japan to use its right to collective self-defense. They also include the SDF’s overseas minesweeping operations, an issue over which the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner, Komeito, are at odds...
"Japanese Catholic leaders voice concern over Abe administration in peace message", The Asahi Shimbun, April 28, 2015:
Dated Feb. 25, the statement read: “Seventy years after the war, memory of it is fading along with memories of Japanese colonial rule and aggression with its accompanying crimes against humanity. Now, there are calls to rewrite the history of that time, denying what really happened.

“The present government is attempting to enact laws to protect state secrets, allow for the right of collective self-defense and change Article 9 of the Constitution to allow the use of military force overseas.”

Kazuo Koda, a bishop from the archdiocese of Tokyo who was involved in drafting the document, said he and other priests were initially reluctant to argue specific policy measures. “But we became convinced that we must speak out with clarity that these are wrong,” he said.
Nobel-winning novelist Kenzaburo Oe has stressed that he and others are ready and willing to carry the torch lit by the late constitutional scholar Yasuhiro Okudaira, a leading supporter of the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution.

Oe was one of six people who addressed a rally April 3 on the legacy of Okudaira, a professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo who died in January at age 85. About 900 intellectuals and activists attended the gathering in Chofu, Tokyo.

The writer said Okudaira believed that Article 9, the clause that outlaws war, has played a major role in molding the character of Japanese who grew up in the postwar period

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Legacy of World War II in Okinawa through Discussion & Music: Panel representing Okinawa Prefecture led by MP Keiko Itokazu • Univ. of Hawai'i Manoa • April 27, 2015


Tomorrow evening a panel of women political leaders representing Okinawa Prefecture will discuss the ongoing aftereffects of World War II throughout communities in the islands.  Senator Keiko Itokazu, a member of the Japanese National Diet will lead the discussion. 

Nago City Councilwomen—Kumiko Onaga, Hideko Tamanaha, Kikue Tsuhako—will also represent Okinawa in this important meeting at the University of Hawai'i-Manoa. Their visit is part of a larger outreach by Okinawa Prefecture to Hawai'i—a call for international support to stop the US-Jp military destruction of the natural cultural heritage site at Henoko and Takae. Ukwanshin Kabudan Ryukyu Performing Arts Troupe will perform. 


Ryukyuan cultural heritage included properties dating back to the Jomon period and the Silk Road era, when the Ryukyuan Kingdom was a major gateway between Tang China to Japan. This was almost all lost: the US-Japan ground war in Okinawa resulted in a near-genocidal civilian death toll and near-total destruction of Okinawan material cultural heritage.

Now, during the 70th anniversary of the World War II sacrifice of Okinawa, the US & Japanese governments want to force through the destruction of Henoko and Yambaru, the most important of what remains of Okinawan natural cultural heritage. The Yanbaru ecoregion includes the prefecture's most biodiverse, healthiest coral reef; only dugong habitat; and a subtropical rainforest. Two species in Yanbaru (the dugong and the Okinawa Woodpecker) are natural monuments. Shrines and shell middens at Henoko go back millennia. 

which strives to preserve the traditions of Ryukyu/Okinawa
 through education using the stage, workshops, and community programs.

The most important Okinawan value, Nuchi du Takara, means "Life, including the life of nature, is the Greatest Treasure." Yambaru is the living manifestation of this cultural value. 

Okinawans, supported by Overseas Okinawans, global environmentalists, and cultural heritage and peace activists are trying to stop this latest attempt at the military destruction of Okinawan natural cultural heritage.

For those who are not in Honolulu, Ukwanshin Kabudan Ryukyu Performing Arts Troupe will be live streaming the event from the Kamakaokalani Center for Okinawa Studies via USTREAM. Please tune in to the following link or search for ukwanshin on ustream. Those of you who can make it, please come in person to show your support!