February 13, 2008
The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States
Consul General Kevin Maher
United States Consulate General in Naha, Okinawa
Lt. Gen. Richard C. Zilmer
US Military’s Okinawa Area Coordinator
We protest the sexual violence against an Okinawan girl by a U.S. Marine
We demand withdrawal of the U.S. military from Okinawa
We, people of Okinawa, particularly women, are outraged at another heinous crime committed by a U.S. serviceman on February 10th, 2008.
We have been imposed the burden of hosting U.S. military and bases. For long 62 years, the lives of women and children in Okinawa have been made insecure by the presence of the U.S. military and bases.
The fact that the perpetrator took the victim from city center where local residents spend their leisure time on holidays and weekends, demonstrates the close proximity between our daily life and the violence and danger caused by the U.S. military. The perpetrator, a Marine who belongs to Camp Courtney lives outside of the base in a local residential area. Why should U.S. soldiers be allowed to freely enter a residential area at any time? Why is a safe environment for children and women not assured in Okinawa? The fear of the victim, the anger of her family, the shock and anxiety of the local residents are all immeasurable.
The U.S. military has promised over and over “the requirement for the highest standards of conduct,” every time a crime was committed. It is evident that these promises resulted in nothing. It needs to be reminded that in the past, during long weekends such as Independence Day weekend, many girls were revealed to the violence of U.S. soldiers. Behind the crimes that have been made public are many more women and children who could not speak out about the violence they were exposed to.
We call for withdrawal of the U.S. military in order to abolish such violence. We argue that the military is a violence-intrinsic institution. And true security cannot be realized by the military in our community nor between nations.
careful and adequate psychological care of the victim,
apology and compensation to the victim,
strict punishment of the perpetrator,
tighter discipline and control over soldiers living in off-base housings.
The realignment and transformation of the US-Japan military alliance will only intensify the functions of the U.S. bases in Okinawa. We demand withdrawal of the U.S. military from Okinawa and closure of the U.S. bases in Okinawa.
Co-chairs, (Ms.) TAKAZATO Suzuyo, (Ms.) ITOKAZU Keiko,
Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence
3-29-41-102 Kumoji, Naha, Okinawa, 900-0015
Ph. Fax. 098-864-1539