In southern Japan there is an island called Okinawa. Ryukyu is the previous name of this island before the Japanese invaded in the 17th century.

During World War Ⅱ, Okinawa was sacrificed to protect the Japanese mainland. At that time, the majority Okinawans were Japanised in an education system, forcefully taught a loyalty to Japanese Emperor. In 1945 the U.S. brutally invaded Okinawa — the ”Storm of Iron" — and took the lives of 1 out of 4 Okinawan people.

From 1945 to 1972, the island was ruled by the US Military government. Okinawa became a lawless area. In 1972, the island was returned to Japanese hands.

In July, 2014, both the Japanese and US governments started the construction of a new U.S. military base to have a new base in Henoko, although 20% of the island is already occupied by US Bases. Henoko is the site of beautiful Oura bay. The government plans to landfill Oura bay, an area of unusual of marine bio-diversity where endangered species live.

In June, 2015 opinion poll shows that 80% of Okinawan people oppose the construction of the base. In protest, the people have built a permanent community of tents in front of Camp Schwab, a US Marine Corps base, and we are there every day around the clock. Opposition includes the prefectural government of Okinawa and many national and local representatives in Okinawa are our side.

On 13th、October, 2015
A governor of Okinawa revoked a permission of reclamation which was signed by Previous governor.

The dispute over the new U.S.base's construction in Henoko between Tokyo & Okinawa is set to develop into a court battle.

4th March, 2016
the government of Japan and the Okinawa prefectural government reached a settle ment for lawsuits filed over the plan move U.S.Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to Henoko.

At the moment, All constructions in Henoko has stopped.
Until the Japanese Government violently restart again.

11th July 2016
While the Henoko is stop, Japanese government suddenly re-started TAKAE helipads Construction.
More than 500 riot police has been sent from main land.
Beautiful Rain forest's village has become a chaotic situation.

February 2017
Henoko construction has restarted.
Land Fill has also started. the Government plans to complete in 5 years. However, the Protectors at Henoko keep fighting to protect the bay. As well as a Governor of Okinawa and Mayor of Nago city have power to not being complete the construction.
Next year, January and November, there are elections for both mayor and governor. It's going to be a key for Henoko.

The determined people won't give up.

This blog is to spread the message and to tell the story of our non-violent daily action.


2016年3月31日木曜日

Takae, Deep Rain Forest occupied by U.S. Marine Corps

While Henoko's struggle has been stopped by the civil movement, Another proposed site for new 6 helipads in a Rain Forest(Yanbaru) at most northern area of Okinawa.


Takae's sit in started from 2007.
When SACO agreement has made by Japanese & U.S. government in 1996.
Takae ward of Higashi village & Kunigami village have 7800 hector  U.S. Warfare Jungle Training Center. This Yanbaru forest holds thousand of kinds of different life. 60% of water supply for Okinawa people is here in this forest.

How the human kind survive on this mother earth while we hurt our mother.
Awake Humans, other wise we have to be extincted from this planet.

Nature is always there, even we destroy them.
When we destroy nature up to a certain limit, we are not be able to survive on this earth.
Human totally depends on the nature. Another  perspective is that we are the nature.
The nature will keep the "Balance" of the nature itself.
Don't forget to pray and owe and appreciation, so we won't forget who we are. And what is important.


http://nohelipadtakae.org/files/VOT-english2013Oct.pdf

2016年3月23日水曜日

Cruel Reality of Fukushima after 5 years.

Peace Walk from Sendai city (Miyagi pref.) to Fukushima.

NaMuMyoHoRenGeKyo

It’s been 5 years since massive earth quake with enormous Tsunami hit North East Japan. And 4 Nuclear reactors exploded. We still wish that it was a just dream that Nuclear reactors explosions.

It’s been a lot of time for an infrastructure to recover. And there are still thousands of trucks and construction vehicles are around this area.
Many people are wondering that this massive new infrastructure is a good way to recover. I mean hundreds km of breakwater divides humans and the sea.


Volunteer workers are now required not only physical works but more mental support for people who lost their houses and family or who evacuated from radiation.

We visited a community center called “platform” where people come and share the information. This platform is located in Odaka ward, Minami-soma city, less than 20km from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
This Odaka ward is a “zone in preparation for the lifting of the evacuation order”, other 2 zones are “restricted residence zone” and “difficult to return zone”.
These three zones are set by Japanese Government.

Government wants residents to return to Fukushima to show evidence to the world that Fukushima is safe place to live again. And from this April, Odaka ward will be lifted from evacuation zone. There are already one small supermarket has been opened.


At the platform, our member started to ask about radiation level in this area to a woman who works here.
She was seems annoying of being asked about radiation. Then another member started to talk again about radiation and introduce a delegate from Australia who involves stopping Uranium mining.
The woman harshly answered, “Did you ccme here to talk about radiation?” “What’s your walk’s purpose?” “If you talk only radiation issue here, we doubt about your walk!!”

We felt sorry to her.
The situation here in Fukushima is complicated ever since after the radiation spread.  Relationships have been split up, not only between people who think that radiation is safe or unsafe, but more complicated way. When you talk about danger of radiation with friends or neighbors you are maybe laughed or pointed out that you’re worrying too much.
It’s easy to imagine that people who plan to come back here don’t want to hear about radiation all the time, even they care of it.

Myth of secure of Nuclear reactor was a word on everyone’s lips after the accident. It means to believe without any reliable sources. And now, Myth of secure of radiation has been spread as propaganda by nuclear complex and government.

10thMarch, We walked from Odaka to Ukedo beach, Namie town. It’s location is only 7km north from Fukushima Daiichi NPS.
This area was hit by Tsunami, and rescue party were recuing people who are under debris. However, after the explosion of NP plants rescue teams had to leave from Ukedo even they were hearing voices from under the debris. Later, the date shows that Ukedo was not highly radioactive contaminated zone.
At Ukedo beach new temporary incinerator has been operating. It burn up debris under 8000 Becquerel/kg. So, actually this incinerator is spreading radiation into the air.


Around one million dollar has been spent in these 5 years to decontamination works.
But no one believe that decontaminate all area is impossible. I witnessed a kinder garden is under decontamination work. Can you believe, that it’s been 5 years but still kinder garden is under decontaminating process. It must had been done at most first priority, even I don’t agree to open kinder garden in this Area.

And another big issue is internal exposure. The government fixed a rate for 100Bq/kg for food. The any words can’t explain how awful that radioactive food now at possibly any corner of Japanese food shops.
Fukushima, I mean whole Japan is under the Radioactive Crisis since 2011 up to now and for future.



We went to Fukushima Film Festival on 13th March. The movie was about the test for thyroid cancer for under 18 years olds children in Fukushima by Japanese government.
Already, there 166 children are diagnosed as a cancer or having a possibility of cancer.
Statistically, Thyroid cancer is found a one of a million people. In Fukushima 166 of 0.35 million are diagnosed. The government doesn’t admit the relativity between cancer and radiation from Fukushima yet. In Japan majority doctors are with government and Nuclear complex, like IAEA is starting to teach all 5 grade kids in Fukushima about radiation in a government facility.

After the film, there was cross talking session, there were 2 men who runs NPO for decontamination work. They explained why they started to decontaminate a town.
Because, they have children and their children go to school everyday. Everyday school kids walk contaminated road to school. So they couldn’t wait government or administration to decontaminate the road. They also advised people that while we are waiting the government to decontaminate, each family can do in front of their houses. Then a lot of part of a town will be safer for children.

An elderly woman raised a hand and said, “I believe decontamination work have to be done by government or TEPCO. And I feel that I’m being criticized when you talk about decontamination by ourselves, because we haven’t. I don’t have any equipment either. When I hear someone talk about that Fukushima is high radiation level, I feel that I’m being criticized.

I understood that how much she’s been stressed by living in Fukushima. And I heard that she’s been working for anti-Nukes. But recently, she’s been irritable with people.

In a public, people can’t talk about radiation. Maybe many of them think Fukushima is already safe to live…however I think that in a corner of people’s mind, they always have strong stress of thinking exposure to radiation.

The government, Media, School and even Doctors say it’s safe and radiation from Fukushima doesn’t cause any health problems. There-fore, It’s not easy to speak out about danger of radiation especially in Fukushima.

And another thing is that, Japanese people, especially people of North East Japan. They think that their virtue is patience. In this culture background, it’s difficult to speak up.

Many people say that “why people still live in Fukushima”, “It’s already contaminated and no way to live in Fukushima anymore”. “I would leave if I was living in Fukushima”.

Yes, there are many people who already left Fukushima, but they are not the people who live in this area for generations. They didn’t have many connections or relatives or attachment to the land where is contaminated.


Nuclear disaster is an endless crisis for all human beings and for Mother Earth.
Invisible radiation created invisible war. 
To prevent another Nuclear disaster, we should not ignore the reality.
We all have to face this ongoing crisis. People in contaminated area need more & more support to protect their life from the government and the nuclear complex.

This time I couldn’t talk about people who already died possibly related to radiation, and there are also people who have been having health problems, they understand it’s related to radiation.

And many schools kinder gardens were already re-started without secure level of radiation environment.

Also a lot of contaminated food are already everywhere in Japan. People are having internal exposure by eating them. We don’t know what is the future?

Don’t forget Fukushima Nuclear disaster. We have to work together for protect the future.











2016年3月21日月曜日

私が見た福島の現実 In Japanese

This is an article about Fukushima.
English version will be coming soon.


命の行進2016 -震災から5年、仙台から福島まで歩いて-

南無妙法蓮華経

東日本大震災から5年、被災地で何がなされ、何がなされていないか、それはそこに住む当事者にしか分からないことだと思う。

今回、仙台市から海岸に出て、津波にあった海岸沿いを、慰霊の想いを込めて歩きました。
私は201315 ’16年に東北を歩くご縁を頂きました。

海岸沿いは瓦礫が取り除かれ更地になっています。永遠と続く荒野のような景色に、歩いている私も気持ちが落ち込みました。それに、海岸沿いを走る道路は少なく、そこをもの凄い数のトラック、工事車両が凄いスピードで走っていくので、歩く私たちは怖いですし、緊張していなくてはいけないので、疲れました。



また、何kmもずーっと続く堤防はこちらから海を見ることができなくなってしまい、海と人間が遮断されてしまった様な、異様な感じを受けました。
ボランティア活動も体を使う片付けなどから今は、日常生活面でのサポートと精神面でのサポートが必要とされています。
相馬市にあるカトリックが運営するカリタスジャパン原町ベースに泊めて頂いた時に伺った話では、ボランティアとしては今、保育園の送迎と南相馬市に最近できた「プラットフォーム」と呼ばれている、寄り合いの場、情報交換の場の運営のサポートをされているという事でした。南相馬市は三区に分かれていて、一番南に在る小高区は原発事故によって事故後20km圏内になるので立ち入りを制限され、人が住めない場所に指定されました。

現在福島県は帰還困難地域、居住制限区域、避難指示解除準備区域に分かれています。
住民の帰還を目指す政府は小高区の東側の半分の地域を今年の4月からの帰還を目指しています。それに伴って帰還を考える区民の為にプラットフォームの様な場所ができたり、商店ができたりしていました。
そのプラットフォームに行った時の事でした。命の行進のメンバーが運営している女性に放射能の数値の事を詳しく聞いていたとき、その女性が嫌がっているのに気づきました。
そして今度は違うメンバーがまた、放射能の事、オーストラリアのウラン鉱山の事などを話したら、その女性は語気を強めて云いました。「あなた達は放射能の事が知りたくてここに来たんですか?」「あなた達の行進の意図は何ですか?」「そのような事ばかり話すんじゃ勘違いされますよ」と。
私達も無神経に、この場所で放射能の話をし過ぎたことに反省しました。
この土地に戻るつもりでいる人達にとって、特に外の人から放射能の事を色々言われるのには嫌な気持ちになるのだと思います。

原発安全神話という言葉が事故後注目されましたが今、新しい放射能安全神話が国によってのみでなく、世界の原子力業界によって造られています。こぞって福島に介入し、福島原発から排出された放射能はチェルノブイリなどに比べても微量で健康に影響は無いなどの日本政府と結託して公式発表を繰り返す様子は明らかな犯罪行為、棄民政策です。

3月10日、小高区から歩いて浪江町の請戸海岸に慰霊の祈りを捧げに行きました。ここは原発から北に7キロの集落でした。震災後津波に襲われレスキュー隊が入りましたが、原発事故直後避難指示が出され、一切のレスキュー作業が中止されてしまいました。生き埋めのまま、声が聞こえるのに避難しなければなりませんでした。更に後に分かった事ですが、請戸は原発に近いにもかかわらず放射線量は比較的低かったのです。私達が今回行って測った時も0.05~0.2㍃㏜/毎時ほどでした。
この請戸海岸では現在仮設焼却炉が稼働中で8000ベクレル以下のものは一般ゴミとして焼却しています。この様にして煙突からは大量の煙を出しています。この煙の中に放射性物質を含まないと誰が思うでしょうか?




確かに原発事故から5年が経って県内の空間線量は減りましたが、それが生活の安全に直結するのでしょうか。人の住む周辺では除染作業が進んでいるようですが、人の住まない山林地域では未だに高い線量を示すようです。それに保育園ではまだ除染作業がこれからという所もあって恐怖を感じました。この五年間除染せずに子供達をこの環境に置いていたのです。


除染の費用だけで既に1兆円に近い額が投じられているようで、今後もどれだけ掛かるか見通しは経っていない。除染といっても人間が行うもので作業員の被ばくも避けられない。
内部被曝の問題に至っては更に深刻です。国が定めた100ベクレル/kgの食品の基準値は99ベクレル/kgであれば店頭に並ぶという事です。


こんな事もあった。
ちょうど行進の休日にあたった日で福島映画祭が近くでやっていたので行った時の事です。
映画はA2-B-Cという映画で、子供たちの甲状腺検査の事や、汚染された地域で再開される学校の事など、現実に直視したもので、福島に住む母親たちの声もあったりして、ショッキングなものでした。この映画を見終わった後に皆で話す場があって、NPOを立ち上げて除染をしている二人組が国による住宅周辺の除染が進まない中我慢できずに自分達で、せめて子供たちの通学路だけでも除染を始めた事、また各家庭が自分の家の前を除染すれば子供たちを被ばくから守れるのではないか、というような話をしたところ、一人の年配の女性が「いいえ、除染は国か東電がすべきものです。それでは除染をしていない私達が悪いようじゃないですか」と不快感を表しました。
NPOの方達はそういう意味ではなく、国もやらない、行政もやらない、責任は彼らにあるが、子供たちを被ばくから守るという意味では、私達も何かできるんじゃないだろうか。といったような意味だったのだと思いましたが。

この女性にとってその発言は自分が責められているように感じるという事になってしまったのです。放射能、被曝の問題に関して話しづらいというのが現状です。
もう大丈夫だと思っている人が多数なのでしょうが、心の片隅では決して納得しているわけではなく、話しても仕方ない、解決できない、とか。話したら誰かと意見が対立してしまう。国が大丈夫と言っているし、行政や、メディア、学校や病院も放射能の事を問題としてほとんど取り上げない。そんな中、声を上げるのは容易ではない。殊に日本人、東北の人々にとって、耐えること、我慢することが美徳の一つとしてある文化の中で声を上げることはやはり容易な事ではないのであろうか。

また多くの人々は汚染された土地を離れない人たちを見て、理解に苦しむようです。が、その土地で生まれ、その土地から離れた事のない人達が、新しい土地で生きていく事の辛さは、その経験のない若い人達や、土地との繋がりを失ってしまった人達には理解できない事なのでしょう。彼らも土地が汚染されている事など十分承知しているのです。それだけでなく、放射能によって心身の調子が悪くなってしまった人や、亡くなってしまった人がいる事を知っていてもなお、そこに住む事を決めている人が居ることを、深く、深く理解する事が必要なのだと思います。

福島の原発事故が人類にそして母なる地球にもたらした被害はもう取り返しのつかないものなのです。もう無かった事にはできないのです。

私達が犯してしまった大いなる過ちを正面から見つめ、同じ過ちを繰り返さないために生きていかなければ、私達はまた繰り返すでしょう、そして徐々に私達人間はこの地球に住めなくなるように自分達を追い込んでいってしまうでしょう。

福島をはじめ、東北、そして東日本の被ばく地帯で声を上げることができずに苦しんでいる人達がいます。
考えましょう。そして、なにかできることがあればそれを行動に移しましょう。

私は祈り、そして行動に移します。

2016年3月12日土曜日

Okinawa Speaking Tour in the UK, Germany and Poland, 1/30 – 2/15, 2016

 at London University SOAS


Na Mu Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo 

Okinawa Speaking Tour in the UK, Germany and Poland, 1/30 – 2/15, 2016 
 For stopping expansion of US Marine Corps Base on beautiful biodiversity Oura bay at Henoko, Nago-city, Okinawa, Japan, Ms. E. (Voices for Creative Non-Violence.UK) organised our speaking tour about Okinawa in the UK, Germany, Poland. These countries also have US Bases & Facilities. So, this speaking tour aims for sharing information and ideas. As well as promoting mutual solidarity.

More than a million refugees are entering to Europe. However people in Europe don’t always show tolerance for refugees. And terrorist attack increases more fear and doubt towards other cultures and religion. Accordingly, European politic is leaning to the right. So, another aim of this speaking tour is that telling and showing an importance of Non-Violent way for resolving any problems.


The UK

 This European tour was financially supported by LUSH, a UK based company, and we were also invited to speak at their Conference in Bournemouth. The Conference was attended by about 700 shop managers and other employees of the company from all over the world (including 150 delegates from Japan). In addition to my talk, presentations were also given on the issue of sustainable energy by an activist in Germany and on the current situation of refugee camps in France. We heard that LUSH provides financial support to various peace activist movements.   
 In the UK, we were invited to talk to various audiences in and around London starting from Ms. E. neighborhood community and the Japanese community, and at music venues, universities, and the London Cathodic Worker House. We also staged standing protests in front of the US Embassy and the Japanese Embassy; for the latter we joined the rally which takes place every Friday led by (Mr. Kobayashi from) a Japanese anti-nuclear group in the UK. 
 Then, we travelled to Milton Keynes, a large town with a Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temple and a Peace Pagoda and stayed there for three days. The first day, we attended an interfaith meeting, where we were given opportunity to talk about Okinawa. I was surprised to meet with a lady from Yomitan Village, Okinawa during in this meeting. 
 The following day was a rest day. A day after this, we held a special Buddhist service to mark the end of the season (Setsubun-e) and a traditional Japanese ceremony of scattering beans to drive away the evil spirits and pray for a healthy life (Mamemaki). We had nearly a hundred visitors, and with the Mayor of Milton Keynes, High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire and many children attending, it turned out to be a fun and lively event. We managed to find a chance to speak to the Mayor and the High Sheriff about Okinawa, and handed in various documents to them. 

Both in London and Milton Keynes we were hosted respectively by Reverent Nagase and Sister Maruta at Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temples. Thanks to all monks and nuns, who moved to the UK in the 1970s and have been training and continuously involved in peace activism since, various meetings in the UK were realised. We could manage to make contacts with local governmental officials and citizen groups, such as the Mayor of Milton Keynes and the High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire as well as a large anti-nuclear group CND, and a Japanese anti-nuclear group. 
 We left Milton Keynes early in the morning and arrived Kaiserslautern in southeast Germany via Paris. (We only spent about an hour in Paris to change the train, but were begged for money from many refugees.)   


 Germany

 Germany is a defeated nation of the Second World War and still hosts the largest UN Forces outside the US. Many bases and facilities in Germany are strategically crucial for the US Military. This time we visited three military bases,Ramstein Air Base, Büchel (German) Air Base, and U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart (home to both the United States European Command and the United States African Command.) 
 Ramstein Air Base is a gigantic military base like Kadena Air Base in Okinawa with two runways and equipped with all military facilities including an ammunition storage depot. It is a critical military base for bombing campaigns in the Middle East, and drones would not function without this base. Büchel Air Base is a German Military Base, but it is believed that about 200 US nuclear warheads are deployed here and they could be launched with the US permission.   
 U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart hosts two crucial military facilities; the United States African Command (AFRICOM), and the United States European Command (EUCOM). The US Armed Forces divides the globe into six geographical areas and in each area a regional command has been established. US Pacific Command which is responsible for the East Asia and the Pacific region, including Okinawa, is based in Hawaii. 
 In Germany, too, introduced by Reverend Masunaga in Austria, we became acquaintance with Mr and Mrs Müller (Mrs Müller is Japanese), who helped us organise activities in Germany. Some origins of Green Parties can be found in Germany, and the first day there we could meet with one of the founding members of the Party. The Green Party has grown into a major political party in Germany. However, it approved to send the German troops during the War in Afghanistan in 2003, and grey haired and bearded Mr. Roland stated that it has lost its founding visions. 
 I also heard about an ongoing court case on the killing of a German citizen in Pakistan by drone strikes which were operated from Germany; a lawsuit has been filed against the state claiming that this is the violation of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany, Article 26. 
 In the office of an anti-war group, War Resistance, many anti-war protest activities have been organised including a Peace Camp which will take place between 10th and 12th June 2016.  We discussed how we can link this with the peace movement in Okinawa. Various suggestions were made such as reciprocal visits to each site of protests, sharing information, and exchanging video message films to support each other. After these discussions, a young man and his partner expressed their interest in visiting Okinawa this summer. As an Inter-Island Solidarity Peace Camp will be held in Taiwan this summer, they said they would like to take advantage of this opportunity and visit Okinawa as well.

In Berlin, we gave a talk in an anti-war café. The partner of the café owner is from Japan, and they seem to organise events regularly. In the café too, wide-ranging and constructive discussions took place; everyone expressed his/her own thought such as: the Japanese community in Germany should take an initiative, and every country which hosts the US Military bases should act on 4th July claiming the independence of its country.
 Traveling from the UK to Germany, I was amazed by German people’s vitality. They enthusiastically and candidly expressed their opinions and thoughts. Often similarities between Japanese and German people such as both being diligent and organised and also shared national characteristics are pointed out, but I felt their vigour and Japanese inactiveness is a world apart. 
 As German de-nuclear power and sustainable energy policies are well known in Japan, Germany is often considered as a progressive country. However, as for the debate surrounding the US Military bases, it does not appear to have attracted passionate enthusiasm comparable to that in Okinawa. Yet, it has a long history of anti-war peace movements, so if anti-US Military base movements in both Okinawa and Germany can form an alliance and work together, this will definitely be a huge blow to the US Military. If we can find an avenue for the Okinawan movement to inspire the German counterpart, I felt this would benefit both movements and can have positive outcomes for both Okinawa and Germany. 
 In Germany, neighbourhoods where the US Military bases locate are more likely to be economically dependent on the US Military. Therefore, tackling this issue should be the primary concern.


 Poland

 After a five-to-six-hour bus journey, I arrived in Poznan, an old city in western Poland. Walking around the city, I found that there was distinctive calmness about the city compared to the UK or Germany. I visited a cathedral which was first built around AD1000. It was dark and still inside with various pictures and statues on the wall and around the hall. Even tourists were quietly walking around. There were people praying with their eyes closed in front of pictures or statues. The grave atmosphere and solemnity of the place overwhelmed me. 
 I had an opportunity to give a talk at ZEMSTA, a bookstore with a cafe space. I later learned that this cafe was a favourite place for anarchists. Indeed there were many illustrations of skulls and most of people were dressed in black. It seemed like a fashionable place, but the atmosphere was somehow different from ordinary cafes.
 As soon as I started talking, a loud bang was heard. Everyone in the cafe went out. Somebody told me that whenever leftists or anarchists have a meeting, right wing extremists would come to attack them. When I went outside afterwards, I found a tissue paper stained with blood. 
 Poland was prone to foreign invasions for a long time and had disappeared from the map entirely while being occupied by Germany, Austria and Russia. In the light of the history, it might be only natural for Polish people to have a desire to retain military force to protect their own country because they were deprived of their land by force. Considering this, I came to think that the relatively low level of foreign threat coupled with Buddhist philosophies has contributed to Japanese people’s reluctance to use force.

The general election in October 2015 resulted in a landslide victory for the right wing Law and Justice (PiS) party. It marked the first change in government in eight years. After securing the majority in the parliament, PiS appointed new judges to the Constitutional Tribunal, who are all supportive of the party. It means that the Constitutional Tribunal is now unlikely to declare any law introduced by PiS unconstitutional. PiS also passed a law to nationalize public media, while replacing the heads of TV and radio stations and firing journalists who criticised the government.
 Faced with an influx of refugees and migrants from outside of the EU, Poland is strengthening its border control, curtailing the number of those who enter the country. I wonder if Poland is deemed to be politically unstable. Does it have something to do with its experiences under the Communist regime, or do geopolitical, cultural, historical elements all contribute to the current situation? Is it because of Poland’s sometimes shaky relationship with EU on one hand and geographical closeness to the huge presence of Russia on the other hand? 

 Relationship with US 
 A US operated “black site” detention facility is located in Poland, where CIA interrogates terrorist suspects. It is the same kind of facility as Guantanamo in Cuba or Abu Ghraib in Iraq, where grave human rights violations were committed.  Poland has agreed in principle to host US missile defence system. It has also been agreed to build five new US military bases in Poland by 2018. 

In Warsaw I was invited to stay with squatters. The population of Warsaw shrank during World War II, and the government took control of buildings after the end of the war. Housing remained affordable and equally distributed under the communist regime. After 1989, however, a wave of liberalisation and capitalism led to privatisation of various properties including buildings, prompting surge in rent.
 Owners of such buildings hope to make money on their properties by getting rid of squatters and dismantling old buildings which is sometimes not easily permitted due to protection of cultural heritage. Squatters I met had some financial supports and so far they were lucky enough to have avoided eviction. According to them, a refugee from Chechnya used to live in the room where I stayed.  During our conversation squatters were eager to know why protest movements in Japan don’t result in violence, or why Japan remains silent about brutal actions inflicted by US. 
 On the last day in Poland I visited Auschwitz, the former Nazi concentration camp, to give a prayer. To my surprise visitors had to go through a very strict security check, which made me wonder if any incident had happened recently. In the exhibition it was explained that a million Jews living in Poland had been killed by Nazis. There were many visitor groups waving Israeli national flags. Obviously the place means a lot to Israelis. As soon as I started to pray with a prayer drum, a security guard rushed over screaming “No!No!No!” and stopped me. 
 My perception was that the place was not promoting peace as Hiroshima and Nagasaki do. The atmosphere was sombre. Visitors came in big buses and learned about atrocious facts of Holocaust. I couldn’t, however, help wondering how they would be able to digest the facts and take a step forward to realise peace. The reaction of the security guard and the lack of prayer space in Auschwitz shaped my concern. My stay in Poland lasted only three days, but I cannot help worrying about its future.


 Conclusion

 What I thought through this speaking tour is that Okinawa Non-Violent Action is a unique movement in the world of today. Setting a permanent camp site in front of US military Base for two years, Hundreds of people come every single day to join Sit-in. I couldn’t see a big movement against US military bases in Europe this time. I think that positive energy of Anti-US Base movement of Okinawa can do something to other movements in Europe. Therefore, our new connection and solidarity is very important now for a meaning of demilitarize the world. 

When civil movement turns into violent movement, the movement loses a mass support and fall into a chain of violence. There were many examples in a past of human history. Even a violent movement once succeeded, hatred and fear which is created by violent revolution brought more violence again. And civil war starts again. I also saw a one example in German Green Party that once men get a power, they change a policy and having a cosy relationship with a certain group of cooperation and power. I regarded that history of many wars in Europe still effects people’s consciousness, and also effect a way of thinking. 

Okinawa’s Non-Violent movement is a hope for an entire world. It’s been said that Okinawa’s US Base issue is not only issue of Okinawa, but issue of whole Japan. And now, I say that people’s power of Okinawa should be spread to the world and encourage people who fight for their rights. Human history has been struggling between violence and Non-violence. Majority people think that Mother Earth is a just material object and exploit for human needs and comforts. This state of mind creates not only environmental problems, but also creates war, discrimination, hunger, animal testing, endangered species, deforestation, pollution of the sea. 

It has been said that all problems are created by human mind. There-fore, idea & thought of Non-violence are useful not only for political struggles, but in actual practices of our daily life. The Non-violence have to be filtered in human behaviour include actions, words, thoughts. Without achieving the true non-violence, in our mind and in our society, True Peace won’t be realised. 


 I pray that wind of Okinawa prevail every corner of the world and benefit the people.




 U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart

 LUSH conference
Sam Baggette Genoveva Arteaga-Rynn


2016年3月4日金曜日

607days

3. May is day of “Sanshin”.
“Sanshin” is a  Okinawa traditional musical instrument.