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World Against "Missile Defense"


Solidarity message from Japanese citizens
To friends in Europe who are against the Missile Defense system and the Space Shield

We are several citizen groups which are respectively committed in peaceful ways to movements of anti-MD system and anti-US Bases in Japan. We would like to convey, by this message, our solidarity with all who are against the deployment of the US MD system into the eastern Europe. We, who live with the various problems arising from many US bases occupying our homeland, always look enviously at the unified efforts in the anti-radar movement by citizens and the League of Mayors in Czech Republic. Your movement has encouraged us a lot and we thank you for that.

Japanese government introduced the MD system in Dec. 2003, and ever since, its deployment has been accelerated here along with the US’ deployment of its own MD system in Japan.

In June 2006, a transferable type of X-band radar was deployed by the US for the first time throughout the world in Shariki, a small, sparsely-populated town in the most-northern prefecture of Aomori on the main land of Japan. This was followed by its globally-second time-deployment into Israel in Sep.2008.

The US X-band radar in Japan is aimed at detecting possible ballistic missile launches from North Korea to Hawaii, making the Japanese main land and islands “a shield “ for defending the USA. This X-band radar in Shariki is guarded by BlackWater Worldwide, a US private military company infamous for its war crimes in Iraq War.

Along with this deployment, the US demanded a limited-flight-zone around Shariki for indefinite duration. This special demand was made just for one military facility, which was also for the first time. This zone has already turned out to be problematic, as the investigation of a maritime accident in the nearby sea was hindered due to the privileged agreement.

Japanese government has become deeply involved in the US MD system through the current joint
development with the US of the improved model of SM3 (Standard Missile 3), an improved intercepting missile loaded on an aegis cruiser. Presently, five US’ aegis cruisers based on Yokosuka, and two aegis cruiser belonging to our Maritime Self Defense Force are equipped with SM3, making the number of the latter four in the near future. As for PAC3 (Patriot Missile 3), it has been deployed in the US base in Kadena, Okinawa and in five bases of ASDF around Tokyo. Finally, ASDF is going to deploy PAC3 in its 11 bases throughout Japan. To our great anxiety, through this joint SM3 development and licensed production of PAC3 in Japan, Japanese private military companies have become one with those in the US, thus newly emerging in Japan as the Japanese military-industrial complex.

At the same time, the MD system in Japan has greatly eroded both the pacifism and the peace-oriented principles based on the Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan which stipulates the renunciation of war as a sovereign right and non-maintenance of armed forces with war potential. Specifically the MD system has watered down the three principles prohibiting exporting weapons, and also the principle stipulating peaceful use of the space.

Contrary to the propaganda by both the government of US and that of Japan, the US MD system, which would enable an easier first strike by making counter-attack powerless, should be called “a device for prompting pre-emptive attack.” And actually because of this nature, it has been causing chain reactions of armament expansion in northeastern Asia.

However, we will not just wait and see, letting this happen. Here in Japan, anti-MD movement is spreading through experienced local campaigns in PAC3 deployment areas. In the forthcoming April, the 17th international conference of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space will be hosted by its Korean Committee in Seoul, South Korea. We consider this a meaningful step towards turning the northeastern Asia, which is still under the atmosphere of the Cold War, into a nuclear & missile-free region. Those in South Korea who are against the US-Japan MD system and like-minded those in Japan will soon start cooperating.

Not only in Japan but in the world as well, poverty has spread because of economical and financial crises.
We should invest our taxes in getting rid of poverty or in environmental conservation, not in military spending. It is missile-reduction, not the Missile Defense, that is most necessary to us.

Let us keep up our efforts in order to realize our goal in common - a world free of the Missile Defense and missile attacks.

In solidarity,
Koji Sugihara ( No! to Nukes and the Missile Defense Campaign )

Endorsing groups:

No! to Nukes and Missile Defense Campaign / Tokyo
Peace Voice Action Network / Saitama
No to Patriot Missile! Action Committee against Narashino Base / Chiba
Yokosuka Peace Fleets / Kanagawa
Nonnuclear Citizen Declaration Campaign Yokosuka / Kanagawa
No! AWACS Society Hamamatsu / Shizuoka
No War Network / Aichi
Citizen Action Net Work Nagasaki / Nagasaki
Committee against the Co-use of Tsuiki JASDF Base by SDF and U.S Military and
Relocation of U.S Marines to Tsuiki Base / Fukuoka

*****

Europe against US Missile Defence

An article about Europe against US Missile Defence conference held in London, 31st january 2009, to give Barack Obama a strong signal. Peace organizations protestation against US missile defence in Europe (Czech rep., Poland, UK).
This is the english version of my article in french " L’Europe contre le bouclier antimissile" - By Patrice Salzenstein (Member of the direction of ’Mouvement de la Paix’, french peace organization)

A conference in London to give Barack Obama a strong signal.

On Saturday 31st January 2009, CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) organized a conference to show the strong opposition across Europe to the installation of the US Missile Defence system. Politicians and peace activists came from Great Britain, Poland, Czech Republic, France and Germany.

President Bush began the deployment of the US missile defence system immediately following his election in 2000. In 2001 he unilaterally renounced Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia and the proposals for the system in Europe initially consisted of US bases in the UK, with more recent plans for an interceptor missile base in Poland and a radar base in the Czech Republic [1]. These proposals have created tension within Europe and with Russia. It is the neo-cons aim to achieve full military domination over the rest of the world. Pretending that this system is a defence system, US missile defence would give the USA the ability to destroy the Russian nuclear arsenal in a first strike attack, whilst its interceptor missiles could protect against any Russian missiles that were not destroyed. However an initial attack by Russia could not be stopped by the system. The new US President, Barack Obama, has not yet agreed the continuation of the project - making the conference timely in sending him a clear and strong signal of European opposition.

Jeremy Corbyn, a Labour Member of Parliament (MP), underlined new perspectives opened by the arrival of Barack Obama, and the unilateral announcement of Russia on 28th of January 2009, that the deployment of Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad will be delayed. The installation of Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad was announced by Russian president Dmitri Medvedev in November, in response to the new Cold War decisions to build the US radar in Czech Republic and install 10 interceptor missiles in Poland [2, 3]. Mr Corbyn reminded delegates of the enormous cost of the system, in comparison with the financial and economical crisis affecting all countries including the USA. But Michael Connarty, another Labour MP, noted that Obama’s team includes those who still think in terms of the Cold War, which should ensure we stay vigilant in monitoring the new policy of US administration. Jean Lambert, Member of the European Parliament for the Greens, representing London, called for international solidarity against US missile defence.

Jolanta Symanek-Deresz, MP, Socjaldemokracja Polska (SLD), said that according to the recent polls, only 47% of Polish people - against 39% for - are opposed to the installation of the 10 interceptor missiles. This project, unpopular in public opinion, began with Polish president Lech Kaczynski (Law and Justice, i.e. PiS) and was followed, with some hesitations, by Donald Tusk’s centre right (PO) government. The system is presented by Tusk as protecting Polish territory, but Ms Szymanek-Deresz indicated that not only will it be militarily insufficient, but also additional financial and technological help promised for Polish army had not yet materialised. She said that the SLD had signed an agreement with its Czech equivalent against US missile defence and promoted better relations with Russia, as the world is not dominated by a unipolar power any more, and Russia should be consider as a partner and not an enemy. Ivona Novomestska, speaking on behalf of the Czech social democrats (CSSD), indicated that 70% of Czechs remain opposed to US missile defence, and that more than 65 mayors of Brdy region, 60km south-west from Prague where the radar base is due to be installed, are visiting Brussels on 18th February to highlight their opposition during the Czech presidency of the European Union. She also stated that twenty years after the Russian army left their country, Czech people are proud of their independence and don’t support another foreign army that would come with the US base.

The German social democrats (SPD) also gave message to show all what they expect after Obama became president. Monika Knoche, Bundestag member for Die Linke, Germany, called for a world without any nuclear weapons, and not only maintain a "wait and see" position, but to act strongly against US missile defence. She stated that the European Left Party is committed to opposing the system. She hoped that both Europeans and Americans will take the opportunity of the recent Russian declaration ending their missile deployment in Kaliningrad and, in response, stop the installation of US missile defence in Europe.

Other speakers, including myself, agreed that the anti-NATO summit in April 2009 in Strasbourg and Kehl, will be a good occasion to build opposition to the US missile defence system and CND will be sending a delegation. In order to co-ordinate action at European and international level, it would be useful to define common dates for anti-war initiatives and demonstrations in several countries at the same time. Giving a more European dimension, and not only preoccupation of England, Poland and the Czech Republic, is fundamental to help citizens who do not have the direct link of a US missile defence military base in their country. The next European Parliament elections will also be a good opportunity to ask all the candidates their opinion on the system. Better coordination could be provided by common tools such as a website providing information on pan-European campaigning actions and documentation about the US missile defence. Other issues discussed the question of financial needs for actions, like the cost of transport to demonstrations, other campaigning costs; and the idea of campaigning groups working with their counterparts in the Czech and Polish towns they are twinned with, to build a strong link across borders.

Patrice Salzenstein,
Mouvement de la Paix [4], France

Note: the original version of this article was writteen in french [5]

Références:
[1] "Non au bouclier antimissile", Planète Paix, No 529, february 2008, pp 20-21

[2] www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/29/russia-obama-missile-plan

[3] www.iht.com/articles/2009/01/29/europe/europe.4-418934.php

[4] Mouvement de la Paix, french peace organization

[5] French version of this article available on Agoravox

Patrice Salzenstein with Jan Tamas

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