AMERICA PEACE CARAVAN


                          OKINAWAN WOMEN ACT AGAINST MILITARY VIOLENCE
                                  c/o Space Yui, 3-9-1 Makishi
                                  Naha City, Okinawa 900 Japan
                                      tel/FAX 098-864-1539

                               AMERICA PEACE CARAVAN
                               February 3-17, 1996
                 San Francisco - Washington, D.C. - New York - Honolulu

     While Okinawa Prefecture composes only 0.6% of the total land area of 
Japan, it bears the burden of 75% of the total U.S. military presence in Japan. 
Under the exceedingly unjust treatment by the Japanese government, the Okinawan 
people have suffered through the 27 years of U.S. military control and 23 years 
since Okinawa's reversion to Japan. Their livelihood and human rights have been 
violated throughout the 50 years of the postwar era by high-level noise 
pollution from military drills, aircraft accidents, environmental destruction, 
and the many crimes committed by U.S. military personnel. Since Okinawa's 
reversion to Japan in 1972, the total number of officially confirmed crimes and 
incidents numbers over 4,700, with 509 of those being particularly brutal.

     The abduction and rape of an elementary school girl by three U.S. military 
personnel that occurred in September 1995 makes us realize that we must change 
the situation of living side by side with military bases and military personnel 
in an atmosphere of constant fear and tension, so that our children may grow up 
in a healthy environment. During the 50 years since the U.S. forces landed in 
Okinawa, untold numbers of girls and women have been attacked by U.S. military 
personnel. These crimes of sexual violence must be seen not merely as crimes 
committed by individual soldiers, but as crimes produced by the military system. 
We feel deep anger when we realize that most of these crimes have been ignored. 
At the same time, we issue a strong appeal for the implementation of a public 
system to heal the deep wounds of the victims and restore their human rights. 
Responding to this critical need, we have established the Rape Emergency 
Intervention Counseling Center - Okinawa (REICO) volunteer hotline and 
counseling program. 

     "Okinawan Women Act Against Military Violence" was organized on November 8, 
1995, as an outgrowth of the participation of 71 Okinawan women in the Beijing 
Women's Conference NGO Forum last September. We base our position on the section 
of the Platform of Action approved by the Beijing Women's Conference that 
clearly states: "Rape that takes place in a situation of armed conflict 
constitutes both a war crime and a crime against humanity." We are proceeding on 
the premise that the same holds true for Okinawa, which has long suffered a 
foreign military military presence. Okinawan women have resolved that we will no 
longer tolerate this violence and violation of human rights, and have thus 
petitioned the Japanese government to consolidate¡¡the U.S. bases and withdraw 
U.S.military personnel, review the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and the Status of 
Forces Agreement, and award full compensation to all victims. We have conducted 
a signature campaign, engaged in a 12-day sit-in demonstration, and visited the 
both Prime Minister's Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to issue our 
appeal. We have received wide support for our efforts from women throughout 
Japan. ¡¡

     Addressing the Beijing Fourth World Conference on Women and the NGO Forum 
in her capacity as the Honorary Chairperson of the U.S. Delegation, Hillary 
Rodham Clinton lifted specific examples of human rights violation suffered by 
women in countries around the world, and issued an appeal to the women of the 
world, declaring, "If human rights are not protected, women's dignity cannot be 
guaranteed," "Women's rights are human rights," and "As we face the ¡¡21st 
century, let us break the silence." We issued this same appeal to women from 
around the world who gathered at our NGO Forum workshop on "Military Violence 
and Women in Okinawa." 

     Recognizing that the governments of all nations have pledged themselves to 
implementing the Platform for Action ratified in the Beijing Declaration to 
ensure that all governments examine their policies from the viewpoint of gender, 
we sincerely hope that the April meeting of Japanese Prime Minister Hashimoto 
and U.S. President Clinton shall result in an improvement  of the Okinawan 
situation, and in particular, that the security of the lives of women and 
children shall be guaranteed. 

     The Okinawan Women's two-week American Peace Caravan will visit four cities 
to share information about Okinawa and the U.S. military presence there with 
American women, U.S. Congresswomen, citizens, and members of the UN Commission 
on the Status of Women and the Human Rights Commission, and discuss our common 
concerns for peace. We seek your support, that these encounters and exchange may 
build a network that results in a society that guarantees the dignity of every 
person, a peaceful society achieved without weapons. 

January 1996             Suzuyo Takazato and Keiko Itokazu, Co-chairpersons
                         Okinawan Women Act Against Military Violence 

 America Peace Caravan Schedule                 Contact
Feb. 3-6: San Francisco            M.Matsuoka:tel 415-788-3666 fax 415-788-7324
Feb. 6-10:Washington,D.C           P.Harvey:  tel 202-544-7198 fax 202-544-7767
Feb. 10-14:New York City           Patterson: tel 212-870-2021 fax 202-870-2055
Feb. 14-16:Honolulu                R.Takumi:  tel 808-456-2665 fax 808-586-6171

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