Okinawa zwischen Krieg und Frieden

Ein Besucher aus Vietnam:
"Okinawa bedeutet in Vietnam die Furcht selbst."

2010: Brief an die Kirchen in den USA

The National Christian Council in Japan

Brief an die Kirchen in den USA
21. Mai 2010

"... The National Christian Council in Japan is opposed to the construction of any new bases in Okinawa for the purpose of war.... "


National Christian Council in Japan
May 21, 2010 

Dear friends in the Churches of the United States of America,

We bring you greetings on behalf of the National Christian Council in Japan in the name of the Lord of Peace.

The purpose of this letter is to share with you our concerns over what is currently taking place in Japan in regards to the urgent situation affecting the relationship between the U.S. and Japan, namely the issue of U.S. military bases in Okinawa.

At present, Japan faces a crucial choice.  The islands of Okinawa, which comprise the southern-most prefecture of Japan, are the location of a large number of U.S. military bases.  Although the entire land area of Okinawa Prefecture is only 0.6% of the total land mass of Japan, some 75% of the US military bases stationed in Japan are concentrated in Okinawa

One of these U.S. military bases is the Marine Corps Air Station at Futenma, which is located in the middle of Ginowan City.*  The base comprises 25% of the land area of the city and houses a dangerous heliport and other air training facilities.  With its close proximity to the surrounding residential area, it became famous as the worlds most dangerous military base in a quote by former US Defense Secretary Rumsfeld.  The return of the Futenma base has been a long-standing earnest desire of the citizens of Okinawa.

When there was talk of the return of the Futenma base in 1996, everyone rejoiced.  But it quickly became apparent that this was all a deception.  The condition for the return was to find an alternate location.  It turned out that the new location was the small fishing village of Henoko in Nago City.  What this meant was that the beautiful coral reef, which had provided a livelihood for the villages and which was the seabed home of the endangered dugong, would now be destroyed with landfill for the purpose of constructing a military base for waging war.

This talk of relocation resulted in sit-ins by the elder men and women of the village who took action to prevent the construction of the base.  This sit-in protest, which was joined by a large number of citizens including many Christians, continues now on a daily basis.  The mayor and citizens of Ginowan City have said, There is no place for such a base.  We are happy if they take it away from Ginowan, but no other persons should be made to undergo the same sufferings. 

In facing the violence being perpetrated by the government in their efforts to construct the base, we have put our lives on the line in a non-violent movement to block the construction.  Within this struggle, we have heard the following statements at Henoko.
We are not only opposed to the base construction, but are blocking war right here.  In fact, we have stopped war from being staged from here for more than 10 years.
We can give up and become victims again, but we will never put up with becoming perpetrators by letting the base be located here for the staging of war.

There are no victors in war.  Whether in winning or losing, all are wounded.  But there are no losers in the struggle to protect life.  Even those who are stopped from constructing the bases can join us in rejoicing that We all decided to protect life!
There is only one way for certain victory.  That is to continue the struggle until we win.

The National Christian Council in Japan is opposed to the construction of any new bases in Okinawa for the purpose of war.  The people of Okinawa must not be made to suffer further by the construction of any new bases.  At the same time, we must not permit the present situation to continue in which alternate sites are being sought to force the transfer and relocation of the bases within either Okinawa or elsewhere. We must never permit Okinawa or Japan to be forced to participate in war again.

As Christians, we believe that Justice and Peace are inseparably intertwined.  Any justice that must be achieved by endangering peace is no true justice.  We believe that when Jesus said Blessed are the peacemakers, (Matt. 5:9) he was not talking about the use of military might, but about peace that is obtained through unending efforts to build trust through dialog.  Peacemaking cannot be achieved by military might.

The prefectural assembly of Okinawa has issued a declaration of opposition to the relocation of the Futenma base within the prefecture.

The prior government of Japan took the position that since America says it is necessary, there is no way we can stop the relocation.  And now with the recent change of administration, the present government is being pressured to make a decision.

Please be aware of this situation.  Become informed, pray and make appeals to the US government.  This is the life and death appeal of the people of Okinawa who have the experience of suffering in wartime.  This is also the heartfelt plea of all the Christians living in Japan who long for peace.

Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; justice and peace will kiss each other.  Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and justice will look down from the sky.  (Psalm 85:10~11)

May the peace and blessings of God be upon all of you.

Rev. Samuel Isamu Koshiishi, NCCJ Moderator
Rev. Aika Taira, Chairperson, Peace and Nuclear Issues Committee of NCCJ                                          

*(see Wikipedia article on Marine Corps Air Station Futenma)

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Präfektur Okinawa

2.273 km2 Fläche
98 Inseln
1,36 Mill. Einwohner
41 Gemeinden

Hauptstadt Naha
3 Universitäten
Große Militärbasis der USA

Polizei und Demonstrantin

No Base !

Gib uns den Frieden wieder

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