Skip to content


Activists Detail Frontline Struggles Against US Militarism In Asia

With the US President Joe Biden waging an all-out economic war against China and aggressively pursuing new forms of collective security alliances to reinforce the military encirclement of China, the Asia-Pacific region has once again become a hotspot in Washington’s new Cold War. From the expansion of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (US, Japan, India, and Australia) to include South Korea, New Zealand, and Vietnam in 2021, the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework in May 2022, the participation of Asian heads of state in NATO meetings in 2022 and 2023, and the cementing of the Japan-Korea-US trilateral alliance at Camp David this August, Biden’s Indo-Pacific Strategy has been dead set on forging a new anti-China Cold War bloc across the region.

Okinawa: A Bastion For Peace?

Recently, in Taiwan, the government unveiled its first home-built submarine. In Japan, the government will upgrade civilian airports and seaports to dual military use in preparation for conflict in Taiwan. The U.S. and allies maneuver to contain China, Russia, and North Korea, while the latter band together against the former’s economic sanctions and military threats. Both blocs test the strength and resilience of the region’s stability. And while North Korea has been the regional bogeyman for decades, if war breaks out, it will likely be in Taiwan. While China has called for an “indivisible security” where security is dependent upon the security of all, U.S. discourse has centered around the containment of China and deterring war… by preparing for it.

The US Military Is Poisoning Okinawa

An Okinawan group of activists and physicians known as the Liaison to Protect the Lives of Citizens Against PFAS Contamination has taken the extraordinary step of collecting and analyzing blood samples from 387 residents of the tiny island who live near several U.S. military installations. The results confirm the worst fears of Okinawans regarding the military’s reckless use of PFAS over the last 50 years. Average blood levels for three PFAS compounds: PFOS, PFOA, and PFHxS, were about 25 nanograms per milliliter, (ng/mL), or parts per billion, for those tested from the cities of Ginowan, Kin Town, and Chatan. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma is located in Ginowan.

Okinawa Poll Results Hamper Plans To Expand US Military Presence

In a major setback to plans for expanding US military presence in Japan, Denny Tamaki, the anti-US base governor of Okinawa, has won a second term in office, continuing his platform against US military bases in the prefecture. In the gubernatorial election held on Sunday, September 11, Tamaki won with a clear majority by defeating Japan’s ruling party candidate Atsushi Sakima. As per the final results released on Monday, Tamaki, supported by a coalition of opposition groups and local movements, secured 339,767 votes, nearly 51% of the total votes polled. Tamaki defeated his nearest rival Sakima for the second time, with a margin of nearly 10%. Local conservative politician Mikio Shimoji, also a former parliamentarian and minister, stood a distant third with around 8% votes.

Iwakuni Residents Fight Back Against US Military Presence

Iwakuni, Japan - A group of residents of the city of Iwakuni, in the Yamaguchi Prefecture, announced plans to use a lawsuit to demand a ban on military aircraft flights in the city on May 2. Residents have long complained of noise pollution from both Japanese and US aircrafts in the city’s military base, and have sought a ban on their activities as well as damages. The group is expected to file the lawsuit at the Yamaguchi District Court later in the month. Once filed, the lawsuit will be the second of its kind to emerge from Iwakuni. According to reports, the same group of residents were plaintiffs or supporters of an earlier lawsuit in 2009 that won JPY 735 million (USD 5.66 million) in damages for the noise pollution. The earlier lawsuit failed to win the ban on military aircrafts that the petitioner had also demanded.

Okinawans Demand Clean Drinking Water From US Military

For at least the past five years the Okinawa Prefectural Government has been monitoring the amount of foreign substances in Okinawa's water. In 2016 Okinawans discovered high levels of toxic chemicals originating from U.S. Kadena Air Base in the drinking water of the densely populated region of central Okinawa, home to some 450,000 people (ANN News). The chemicals are referred to as PFOS, PFAS, and PFOA, and are linked to a plethora of serious health problems, including cancer, reproductive issues, stunted development, immune diseases, cardiovascular problems, and hepatic issues, among others (CDC). They are referred to as “forever chemicals” because they do not breakdown and instead accumulate over time (EPA).

Okinawa: US Military Seeks A Base Built On The Bones Of The War Dead

One Sunday in October, Takamatsu Gushiken dug up a femur. It was one of several exciting finds that fall. By the month’s end, he had uncovered the phalange of a foot, two fibulas, and a lower jaw, too. He rushed to tell the rest of his volunteer group, Gamafuya, which means “cave diggers” in the Okinawan Indigenous language of Uchinaaguchi. The bones confirmed what Gushiken had known all along: There, in a tract of forest in the southern city of Itoman, Okinawa, lay the remains of the victims of World War II. As November began, Gushiken returned to the site to find the forest had been clear-cut. “We only work on Sundays,” he told me over Zoom. “When we went to the site on Sunday, November 1, we found that the area of the forest where we were working was gone.”

‘We Won’t Quit Until We Stop It’

Naha, Okinawa - Every day except weekends, holidays, and typhoon days, even in the pandemic, charter buses leave from Naha and other cities on this island to transport protesters to three locations in the north, where the Japanese government is trying to build a super airbase for the US Marines. One location is Shirakawa, on the Pacific Ocean side of the island, where the government’s Okinawa Defense Bureau is tearing down a mountain and loading it into dump trucks. There, protesters delay the work by standing in front of the trucks.

Will The Pandemic Transform US Military Bases?

Okinawans opposed to the expansion of U.S. military bases on their island have been upset by the environmental damage, the accidents, and the crimes associated with the presence of 25,000 American troops. Now the anti-base movement has one more powerful argument to use in its case to shrink the U.S. footprint in this southernmost Japanese prefecture: the coronavirus. Until recently, the novel coronavirus pandemic had largely spared Okinawa. There had been fewer than 150 infections and only seven deaths among a population of nearly 1.5 million.

Okinawan People Oppose U.S. Military Base Expansion

Okinawa is an island prefecture of Japan, located about 400 miles south of the rest of Japan. For years, there has been a campaign to stop the construction of the new U.S. military base at Henoko, located in the northern part of Okinawa. In a referendum held February 24, 2019, 72 percent voted against the new military base. Okinawan Governor Denny Tamaki and the Okinawan Assembly have actively opposed the base construction, but the U.S. and Japanese governments continue with the construction plans—in direct disregard for the will of the Okinawan people.

Okinawa Rally Urges Japan, US Gov’ts To Scrap Base Relocation Plan

NAHA (Kyodo) -- A rally of thousands of Okinawa residents on Saturday urged the Japanese and U.S. governments to scrap a plan to relocate a controversial U.S. air base within the southern prefecture. Following a local referendum last month that showed over 70 percent opposed the transfer plan, some 10,000 people gathered at a park in the prefectural capital of Naha, according to the organizer of the rally. The protesters adopted a resolution demanding the two governments abolish the plan to relocate U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from a crowded residential area of Ginowan to the less densely populated coastal area of Henoko in Nago.

Okinawan People Vote By 72% To Oppose US Military Base, But Abe Moves Ahead Anyway

NAHA--Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki proclaimed that the decisive 72 percent opposed to the relocation of a U.S. military base within Okinawa Prefecture in a referendum on Feb. 24 shows the "firm will" of the people. Tamaki told reporters before dawn on Feb. 25 that the people of Okinawa will never allow the land reclamation work off Henoko for the relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. “The central government should reconsider its policy that Henoko is the only candidate site for relocation, and suspend the (ongoing land reclamation) work,” Tamaki said.

Okinawa Activists Petition White House To Stop Military Base Construction

Washington, DC — Peace activists are calling for the U.S. government to call off plans for a massive military construction project on the Japanese island of Okinawa. On January 7, a fourth generation Okinawan-American and local peace groups staged a demonstration and delivered a petition with 190,000 signatures to the White House. The petition calls for a halt of construction of a U.S. airbase at Ourawan Bay until a referendum can be held on February 24. The airbase would build an airstrip by filling in Ourawan Bay with boulders and dirt. Two 5,000-foot runways are planned which will eventually house the ultra-advanced U.S. F-35 fighter jets and V-22 tiltrotor aircraft.

After 1,600 Days Of Protest, Okinawans Bring Fight To Washington

The United States military is building another base on Okinawa in an environmentally-sensitive area, on top of the second most diverse coral reef in the world, against the will of Okinawans who have been protesting every day for over 1,600 days. There are many reasons why this base should not be built. We discuss those with Robert Kajiwara, a Hawaiian-Okinawan human rights activist, as well as why he traveled to Washington, DC and new developments in the struggle to regain Hawaiian sovereignty. And we cover news and upcoming actions.

The Tyranny Of Contamination: The US Military Is Poisoning Okinawa.

High concentrations of the deadly compounds Per-fluoro-octane sulfonate (PFOS) and Per-fluoro-octanoic acid (PFOA), together known as Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been found in the drinking water in communities adjacent to the U.S. Air Force’s Kadena Air Base and the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in the Japanese Prefecture of Okinawa. The chemicals are found in the fire-fighting foam used in routine fire-training exercises on base.
Sign Up To Our Daily Digest

Independent media outlets are being suppressed and dropped by corporations like Google, Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our daily email digest before it’s too late so you don’t miss the latest movement news.