APALA adopts resolution against military expansion in Okinawa at 2017 Anaheim convention

APALA adopts resolution against military expansion in Okinawa at 2017 Anaheim convention

On August 19 in Anaheim, California, All-Okinawa Council members are pleased and grateful at APALA’s adoption of a resolution supporting their stance on Henoko and Takae.


 

August 21, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo

 

Special Correspondent Yukiyo Zaha reporting

 

On August 19 the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) held the general session of its 25th Anniversary Convention in Anaheim, California. There, APALA adopted a resolution opposing the plans for new base construction in Henoko, Nago City, and Takae, Higashi Village in Okinawa.

This is the second time that APALA has adopted a resolution claiming solidarity with Okinawans, the first time being in 2015. APALA is an influential labor organization with more than 20 chapters throughout the U.S. and 660,000 members.

The second delegation of the All-Okinawa Council to the U.S. for APALA’s general meeting, the objective of which is to not allow construction of the new base in Henoko, held a workshop concerning the Okinawa base problem.

Led by House of Councillors member Yoichi Iha, the delegation presented information to APALA members about the current status of U.S. military bases in Okinawa, the citizens’ protest activities in Henoko and Takae, and issues of sexual violence.

Titled “Solidarity with the People of Okinawa,” the APALA resolution declares opposition to the expansion of U.S. military bases in Okinawa, including the base constructions plans for Henoko and Takae.

It also requests that each labor union, central labor council, and state government pass a similar resolution. Furthermore, the resolution calls on the U.S. Congress “to withhold support for the U.S. military expansion on Okinawa and to respect the democratic wishes of the people of Okinawa.”

Former president of APALA and the UCLA Labor Center Director Kent Wong proposed the resolution at the request of the All-Okinawa Council.

Head of the All-Okinawa delegation Iha said, “We will not allow new U.S. military bases to be built in Okinawa,” and suggested that the U.S. and Japanese governments should solve Okinawa’s U.S. military base problem.

His statement was met with a burst of applause from the 600 or so people gathered in the assembly hall.

At the convention’s dinner program the All-Okinawa delegation members sang the traditional Okinawan songs Bashofu and Tinsagu nu Hana.

The assembly hall grew enlivened through Okinawan kachashi dancing, which promoted a sense of friendship between the All-Okinawa delegation and APALA members.

 

 

(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)

 

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