Okinawan activists holding forum on militarization at UOG

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A couple of activists from Okinawa are on Guam to share their experiences with the military presence on their island.

Guam – The activists are from the Northern part of Okinawa from the Higashi village in the Takae prefecture that contains the Yanbaru forest. They are holding a public forum from 6-8pm this evening at UOG. Ikuko Isa and Yukine Ashimine spoke via translator Mizuki Nakamura. Isa says that their community is surrounded by U.S. Military helipads that cause a lot of noise pollution.

“People in Okinawa are really suffering. There are crimes and accidents committed and involved by U.S. military personnel and we constantly have fear of those crimes and accidents,” said Isa. Isa pointed out that on Oct. 11th a U.S. military helicopter crashed in a residential area of Takae landing in a local farmers pasture. Last year an osprey crashed on a beach in northern Okinawa.

“We don’t want our burdens to be moved to Guam because people of Okinawa we have been suffering so much because of the presence of U.S. bases so we don’t want the people of Guam to have to go through the same things,” said Yukine Ashimine.

Both Ashimine and Isa say they would like to see the people of Okinawa and the people of Guam share their experiences and join their voices.