Wednesday, July 27, 2011

David Vine’s Japan Tour: From Diego Garcia to Okinawa

Accompanied with Korean civic activists, American University anthropologist David Vine prays for Jeju Island)

The banner that reads, “Stay Strong Gangjeong, Let’s protect peace!!”
(Via Kim Tae-hyoung's photo-essay, "Endangered Peace in Gangjeong," at The Hankyoreh

David Vine, a professor at American University in Washington D.C. and author of Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia, is on his way to Japan to speak on military occupation issues and to support grassroots citizen movements throughout Japan.

His tour includes a talk in Tokyo on June 29th; a base tour in Iwakuni (site of a massive new U.S. Marine Air Station in southern Japan) on August 1st; and the Dialogue Under Occupation conference in Okinawa from August 4th-8th, where participants will discuss the effects of U.S. military bases located around the world. DUO conferences have been held in Chicago and Jerusalem; this is the first DUO conference to take place in an Asian country.

The anthropologist has worked closely with Chagossians, the indigenous residents of Diego Garcia island, in their lawsuit following their forced removal from their homeland by the U.S. and U.K. governments. Both nations now use the entire island as a military base. Vine, a member of the Network for Okinawa, is involved in various movements for human rights and military budget reduction; and has visited Okinawa on several occasions. Last year, his students went public about discriminatory statements against Okinawan and Japanese people made by former U.S. diplomat Kevin Maher during a seminar they attended.

More recently, Vine interviewed Korean peace activist Sung-Hee Choi, jailed in Jeju Island for two months without possibility of bail, for nonviolent demonstrating against South Korean governmental seizure and destruction of private farmland to make way for a naval base on Jeju Island, and wrote this piece about their talk.

David Vine's talk in Tokyo:

Date/Time: Friday, July 29th 6:30 PM

Venue: Mainichi Hall (inside The Mainichi Daily News office in Takebashi, Tokyo, near Takebashi subway station in the basement of the Palace Side building)

Map (Japanese):

Entry fee: 500 yen

Interview: Hajime Kitamura (Shukan Kinyoubi magazine)

Interpretation: Yoko Furuyama (Pacific Asia Resource Center lecturer), Meri Joyce (Peace Boat International Department)

Sponsored by Shukan Kinyoubi and supported by various citizen organizations

For more information, contact: (e-mail) or 090-5341-116 (mobile phone)

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