Support Honolulu City Council Resolution 15-322 Re US Bases on Okinawa

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Updated 1/6/16
The Big Picture. Keep in mind that the 32 US military bases on Okinawa occupy 20% of the island’s prime land. Okinawa has a land area of 466 square miles and a population of 1.4 million inhabitants. Compare that with our crowded Oahu, with a land area of 597 square miles and a population of 953,207 — less than a million people.

So Okinawa has LESS land and MORE people than Oahu. If you think Oahu is crowded, you can imagine how crowded it is in Okinawa. Photos below show the population density around a few of the major US bases and how spacious the bases themselves are.

“Okinawa represents only 1 percent of the total population … and 0.6 percent of the total land area in Japan, but 75% [of] all U.S. military base lands” (p. 148 in Jennifer Chan, ed., Another Japan Is Possible, Stanford U Press, 2008). 

Furthermore, the US bases have been of declining importance to Okinawa, accounting for only 4% to 5% of the island’s economy. This represents a deadweight loss of 15% on Okinawa’s economy.

So the question is: Is the United States and Japan being fair to the Okinawan people living in Okinawa?

Kinser Military Base, Okinawa

Kinser Military Base, Okinawa

Futenma Air Station

Futenma Air Station

Kadena AFB

Kadena AFB

From: Ukwanshin Kabudan
Sent: Sunday, December 27, 2015 11:06 AM
Subject: Kokua From Hawai`i, Honolulu City Council Preparing to Support Okinawa

Gusuuyo Chuuganabira,

We hope you had a safe and restful Christmas and wish you all a safe and healthy new year in 2016.

As we end this year, the 70th anniversary of the end of the terrible Battle of Okinawa that sacrificed our family and friends in Uchinaa and claimed the lives of 1/3 of the population, we also remember how our issei, first generation, gathered their aloha and resources to help Okinawa by sending not only pigs but money, clothes, goats, and other support through individuals and family. It is this spirit that created the Okinawa Rengokai, which is now known as HUOA.

Just as in that time of need, Okinawa’s Governor Onaga has declared a state of emergency as the democracy of the Okinawa people is being challenged. The situation in Henoko is now not just a base issue but the taking away of the people’s voice and right to democracy. In Okinawa, 82% of the population and 98% of the political leaders wish to preserve the pristine coral reef environment and beautiful sacred areas. Camp Schwab, where the base is located, was illegally taken from Okinawans in the 1950s by US military who forced Uchinaanchu off their land with bulldozers and bayonets.

Culturally, Uchinaanchu in the area face their way of life being changed as their ocean “ice box” will be destroyed and they will be forced to buy their food and resources from the city. Most of these residents are retired elderly who depend on the ocean for their livelihood and food.

Currently in Hawai`i, Ed Kuba, Bob Nakasone, and John Tasato have been working with City Council member Carol Fukunaga and Chairman Ernie Martin to adopt a resolution supporting the people of Okinawa’s stance against the building of the base at Henoko. Attached is the proposed resolution that will be considered by the Council on January 12.

We have informed many of you in the past and once again ask for your support in submitting a one-page typed testimony or letter in support of this resolution. I have also attached a draft (see below) letter for your use. It was forwarded to me by Ed Kuba. If you can help, please contact Ed Kuba at kubaedward@gmail.com for information on where you can fax or email your letter.

__________

UPDATE 1/6/16: From Ed Kuba: Regarding your testimony, all you have to do is insert the number of times you have been to Okinawa, sign your name, date it, type in your name and email it to: Chris Delaunay cdelaunay@honolulu.gov and Doris Lam dlam1@honolulu.gov
__________

Let us all gather in support once again for Uchinaa and our people, who are asking for our support. Berkeley, California, and Massachusetts have already sent in resolutions similar to this. It’s time for the largest population of Uchinaanchu in the US to do the same.

Yutasarugutu Unigeesabira.
Eric

CCH Res 15-322

Click image to view the 4-page PDF document.

 

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to view the PDF original.

Update 1/6/16:

Text version of the letter in support of 15-322 — for those who have been to Okinawa:

RESOLUTION NO. 15-322
HONOLULU CITY COUNCIL

Trevor Ozawa, Chairman
Executive Matters and Legal Affairs Committee

I am very strongly in favor of Resolution No. 15-322 showing Honolulu’s support for the people of Henoko and Okinawa, and respectfully request the Council adopt it right away, for the following reasons:

1. I have been to Okinawa _____ times and personally witnessed the many U.S. military bases on that small island.

2. There 80% of Okinawans do not want the airbase at Futenma moved to Henoko; instead, they want it moved outside of Okinawa. “Democracy for Okinawa!” has been their rallying cry.
3. Governor Takeshi Onaga, Nago (Henoko) Mayor Susumu Inamine, Naha Mayor Mikiko Shiroma, and other politicians, were recently elected because of their anti-base positions.
4. The following interesting percentages are revealing:
A. Okinawa Island is about 75% the size of Oahu (466 sq. mi. vs. 596),
B. Okinawa Island has about 33% more people than Oahu (1,300,000,976,000), and
C. Okinawa Island has about 300% more U.S. military bases than Oahu (32, 11).
5. Hawaii has many close sister relationships with Okinawa, including:
A. Hawaii-Okinawa, Honolulu-Naha, Hilo-Nago (Henoko), and
B.  Kauai-Ishigaki, Maui-Miyako and Kona-Kumejima.
6. Accordingly, Hawaii’s strong ties to Okinawa give us standing to adopt the subject Resolution showing support for the people of Henoko and Okinawa in their pursuit of democracy.

Mahalo for your kind consideration.

Signature:________________________________________   Dated:_______________________

Typed Name:

[Click here for the MS Word docx file.]

Text version of the letter in support of 15-322 — for those who have not been to Okinawa:

RESOLUTION NO. 15-322
HONOLULU CITY COUNCIL

Trevor Ozawa, Chairman
Executive Matters and Legal Affairs Committee

I am very strongly in favor of Resolution No. 15-322 showing Honolulu’s support for the people of Henoko and Okinawa, and respectfully request the Council adopt it right away, for the following reasons:

1. Eighty percent of Okinawans do not want the airbase at Futenma moved to Henoko; instead, they want it moved outside of Okinawa. “Democracy for Okinawa!” has been their rallying cry.
2. Governor Takeshi Onaga, Nago (Henoko) Mayor Susumu Inamine, Naha Mayor Mikiko Shiroma, and other politicians, were recently elected because of their anti-base positions.
3. The following interesting percentages are revealing:
A. Okinawa Island is about 75% the size of Oahu (466 sq. mi. vs. 596),
B. Okinawa Island has about 33% more people than Oahu (1,300,000,976,000), and
C. Okinawa Island has about 300% more U.S. military bases than Oahu (32, 11).
4. Hawaii has many close sister relationships with Okinawa, including:
A. Hawaii-Okinawa, Honolulu-Naha, Hilo-Nago (Henoko), and
B.  Kauai-Ishigaki, Maui-Miyako and Kona-Kumejima.
5. Accordingly, Hawaii’s strong ties to Okinawa give us standing to adopt the subject Resolution showing support for the people of Henoko and Okinawa in their pursuit of democracy.

Mahalo for your kind consideration.

Signature:________________________________________   Dated:_______________________

Typed Name:

[Click here for the MS Word docx file.]

Update 1/6/16

Tue, Jan 5, 2016 at 3:42 PM
Written Testimony for Okinawa Democracy

Please see Resolution 15-322 above.

I applaud council member Carol Fukunaga for supporting the Okinawans in Ryukyu Island. She has my sincerest gratitude. My apologies,…  I don’t know who the other council member is.  I am grateful for his/her support also.

From: Ukwanshin Kabudan
Date: Fri, Jan 1, 2016 at 6:55 PM
Subject: Fwd: Written Testimony for Okinawa Democracy
To: Ukwanshin Kabudan

Gusuuyo Chuuganabira,

Happy New Year!

Here is a forwarded email from Ed Kuba, with information on supporting the Honolulu City Council’s Resolution for Okinawa’s Democracy.  Please read carefully and let us know if you have any questions.

Thank you to those of you who have committed to sending in your support!  The list attached is not complete and it is growing daily!  There are already over 140 and counting. Those of you who still haven’t joined in support for Okinawa, there is still time.

Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga’s office is already accepting letters, testimonials.  Please email to

Email: dlam1@honolulu.gov

Those of you who would like to attend the hearing for the resolution on the 12th, we will be sending out the information soon.

We cannot let Okinawa down.  We are the largest community of Uchinaanchu in the US, and also 2nd after Brazil Internationally.  Okinawa is looking for Hawaii`s support.

Yutasarugutu Unigeesabira!

Eric

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Edward Kuba
Date: Mon, Dec 28, 2015 at 8:41 PM
Subject: Written Testimony for Okinawa Democracy
To: Eric Wada , Joyce Chinen

Mahalo for considering submitting written testimony supporting the Honolulu City Council’s Resolution 15-322 backing up Uchinanchu in Okinawa in their quest for democracy.

Attached are the following documents:

List of people submitting written testimonies, and
Suggested draft of one-page testimony.

Regarding your testimony, all you have to do is insert the number of times you have been to Okinawa, sign your name, date it, type in your name and email it to:

Chris Delaunay         cdelaunay@honolulu.gov and

Doris Lam                 dlam1@honolulu.gov

or fax it to:

768-1226.

We hope you can join us in supporting the Uchinanchu in Okinawa.  Please let me know by December 30 if we can add your name to the list.

Your testimony has to be submitted from January 6-11 for the January 12 hearing.  You do not have to testify at the hearing.

Any questions, please contact me or your coordinator.

Aloha and Mahalo,
Ed Kuba

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