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Letter to Obama from Japan


An Open Letter to U.S. President Barack Obama

The "Change" You Promised Should Include the Official
Dismantling of the Bush-Rumsfeld Neoconservative
Military Strategy
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President Barack Obama The White House Washington D.C.
20500

January 16, 2009

Dear Mr. President:

First, we would like to extend our congratulations on
your election as President of the United States of
America.

The Bush administration, by conducting wars forbidden
under international law, and by taking other
unilateralist actions during its eight years in office,
has brought immense suffering to the people of the
world. We welcome your election as President, as you
clearly promised to change what had been done by your
predecessor and his administration. We believe that
your call for change won the hearts and minds of the
American people, particularly the young, inspired them
with hope, and rekindled idealism, undoubtedly a great
virtue of the American citizenry, beyond color, gender,
class and other differences. We heartily welcome your
victory.

We nevertheless feel it urgent, as residents of the
Japanese archipelago, to remind you, Mr. President,
that your promise of "change" should be a commitment
not only to American citizens but also to people all
over the world who suffered under the Bush
administration's destructive unilateralist actions. We,
as people who long to be liberated from the endless war
situation created by the Bush administration, are eager
to know how you plan to change the global military
strategy that it formulated and implemented. In
particular, we are carefully watching whether you will
dismantle the Bush-Rumsfeld military strategy,
centering on the so-called Defense Transformation
Program, which bears the indelible hallmark of
neoconservatism, and will introduce instead more modest
and decent U.S. foreign and defense policies.

We would like to know whether you intend to embark on a
fundamental review of the U.S. military strategy along
this line.

Specifically, as peace loving citizens of the Japanese
archipelago, we expect and request you to bring a
fundamental change to the U.S. military strategy in
East Asia and the Pacific region.

Under the Bush administration, Japan has been fully
integrated into the U.S. global military strategy which
is dedicated to the goal of U.S. global domination and
serves exclusively the military, political, and
economic interests of the United States as defined by
the then neocon rulers. In other words, the strategy
that Japan was integrated into has nothing to do with
Japan's defense or peace in Asia. Through a series of
bilateral arrangements signed from 2005 through 2006,
Japan's Self-Defense Forces, a military force which
exists in violation of the Japanese constitution, were
placed directly under the U.S. command as auxiliary
units to serve Bush's wars, under the plausible slogan
of a "mature alliance." Under the new agreements, the
Japanese and U.S. governments are forcing the
construction of new military facilities in Okinawa, and
these attempts are being fiercely contested by local
people. U.S. military bases are also being reinforced
in Japanese mainland cities and towns such as Iwakuni,
Yokosuka, Zama and Yokota, but again, local residents
are struggling against these moves. By pressing Japan's
rapid militarization and its incorporation into the
U.S. global strategy, and thus forcing Japan to revise
its pacifist constitution, the U.S. government under
President Bush has been blatantly interfering in
Japanese domestic affairs. The U.S. has also attempted
to turn Guam into a huge U.S. military complex as a
cornerstone for the U.S. forces' global strategic
deployment, using Japanese tax money.

The military arrangement thus introduced by the Bush
administration is counterproductive, as it not only
will fail to bring about peace and security to Asia and
the Pacific region, but may lead to an aggravated arms
race with China and usher in a new Cold War situation
in Asia.

We therefore request that you seriously consider and
adopt the concrete proposals articulated below. We
believe that the "change" you promised will not be
substantiated unless these are met.

1. Fundamentally review and abolish the bilateral
arrangement contained in the "U.S.-Japan Alliance:
Transformation and Realignment for the Future" agreed
on October 29, 2005 and the related subsequent military
arrangements between the U.S. and Japan, and freeze the
ongoing construction of military facilities and the
transformation of military forces based on the
arrangements. 2. Review and stop the expansion of
military facilities in Okinawa and review the presence
of U.S. forces in Okinawa with a view to eventually
withdrawing them completely. 3. Abandon the plan for
the construction of new U.S. military bases in Guam. 4.
Cease to demand or pressure Japan to revise Article
9 of its constitution. Opt for regional multilateral
arrangements for peace in Northeast Asia in the
perspective of the withdrawal of the U.S. forces and
Japan's demilitarization and promote a Northeast Asia
Nuclear-Free Zone as a first step.

We eagerly await your response to the above proposals.

Sincerely, signed by: Hokkaido Peace Network Kansai
District Collective Action Network Study Group on the
United Nation and Japanese Constitution Forum for Human
Rights, Justice and Solidarity for Peace Solidarity
with Anti-War Military Personnel Buddhists No War
Group, Fukuoka Group to Substantiate the Fukuoka Court
Ruling on Unconstitutionality of Prime Ministers'
visits to Yasukuni Shrine Action Committee against
US-Japan Security Pact No! to Nukes and Missile Defense
Campaign EcPeaceClub SPACE ALLIES Asian Pace Alliance
(APA) Japan People's Plan Study Group (PPSG)

Myoukei Nakata, Kentaro Nakata, Tsuneo Takeichi, Megumi
Ishibashi, Kenji Kunitomi, Kitarou Wada, , Kazuhiro
Nishii, Hideaki Nishiya, Hidenori Ao, Hideyuki Kuroda,
Makoto Sakai, Sachiko Kunimitsu, Shizue Hirota,
Teramachi Ayumu, Kolin Kobayashi, Shigeki Konno,
Yoshikazu Makishi, Hiroshi Kajino, Mitsumasa Ohta,
Naoya Arakawa, Yoko Yamaguchi, Yumi Honda, Takashi
Ozawa, Fumitaka Miyahara, Makiko Sato, Kaori Suzuki,
Koichi Bessho, Asita mo hare - Seiko Ohki, Sachiko
Taba, Yukio Kurihara, Masahide Tsuruta, Shutaro Hosono,
Yuuko Nakamura, Akiko Inari, Hiroko Taguti, Kiyokazu
Koshida, Yukinobu Aoyagi, Yuko Inoue, Mitsue Sugiyama,
Hideaki Kuno, Kenji Ago, Kazumasa Igata, Kazuhiro
Katou, Tomoko Miyahara, Takao Watahiki, Yuko Inui,
Hisashi Senba, Mutsuo Usami, Setsuko Usami, Yumi
Kikuchi, Kamiya Fusako, Takako Morimoto, Hiroshi
Yoshikawa, Akemi Ishii, Yasuo Kuwano, Kouitirou
Toyosima, Yuuichi Aoki, Kenichi Hanamura, Keiko Tanaka,
Marie Nakajima, Kimio Oda, Takashi Sano, Hatuko Sano,
Tetsuo Matumura, Morioka shingo, Tosiko Kamakura,
Toshimasa Sakakura, Keiko Doi, Yasushi Furuya , Keiko
Kimura, Masao Kimura, Rosan Daido, Yuzuru Nakazawa,
Mieko Iwasaki, Toshiaki Ikeo, Shiro Saka, Kiyoshi Owa,
Isamu Nagano, Junko Yamaguchi, Koji Sugihara, Terumi
Terao, Noriko Kyogoku, Yasue Tanaka, Ayako Nakanishi,
Shu-ichi Satoh, Hikaru Kanesaki, Seiko Miyake, Junko
Okura, Sojun Taira (as of January 13, 2009)

===

For details of U.S.-Japan military arrangements made
under the Bush administration, please refer:

"Japan's Willing Military Annexation by the United
States -- 'Alliance for the Future' and Grassroots
Resistance" (by Muto Ichiyo)
http://www.ppjaponesia.org/ "Okinawa Disagree -- A
Historic Turning Point in the Struggle for Peace and
Dignity" (by Yui Akiko) in /Japonesia Review No.2/,
December 2006, published by PPSG "Okinawa's Resistance
Reaches a New Height on Falsification of History and
U.S. Bases" (by Yui Akiko) in /Japonesia Review No.4/,
March 2008, published by PPSG "From Okinawa -- Breaking
the Imposed Myth: Permanence of U.S. Bases in Okinawa"
(by Yui Akiko) http://www.ppjaponesia.org/ "People of
Yokosuka Resists U.S. Nuclear Carrier" (by Yamaguchi
Hibiki) in /Japonesia Review No.5/, October 2008,
published by PPSG "Rural People Resist U.S. Military
Encroachment -- From Takae, Okinawa" (by Hikaru
Kasahara) in /Japonesia Review No.5/, October 2008,
published by PPPSG

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