International conference in Ireland calls for removal of all U.S. military bases worldwide, Okinawa included in discussion

International conference in Ireland calls for removal of all U.S. military bases worldwide, Okinawa included in discussion

Demonstrators proclaiming, “We will not allow a new base to be built in Okinawa!” on November 16 in Dublin, Ireland

November 18, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo

Hanayo Oya reports for the Ryukyu Shimpo

On November 16 the International Conference Against U.S./NATO Military Bases commenced in Dublin, Ireland.

The conference is attended by around 230 people from roughly thirty countries and regions worldwide that, like Okinawa, suffer from environmental contamination, noise pollution, and other problems linked to U.S. military bases.

A unity statement was presented at the opening ceremony stating that wars led by the U.S. military and NATO have caused devastating environmental and health impacts on a global scale and calling for the removal of all U.S. military and NATO bases worldwide.


The conference is organized by the Global Campaign Against U.S./NATO Military Bases, an international organization composed of civic groups tackling U.S. military base-related problems from various countries.

On November 17, the second day of the conference, a discussion will be held regarding U.S. bases in Okinawa.

American Bahman Azad, one of the coordinators, told the Ryukyu Shimpo that he has heard that Okinawans are being forced into a lonely battle in Japan, and said that similar problems are occurring on a global scale and that he hopes to solve the problems through international solidarity and wishes to tell Okinawans that they have friends and allies worldwide.


On the first day of the conference, Nobel Peace Prize-winner Mairead Maguire, an activist working for a peaceful resolution to the problems in Northern Ireland, stated that war crimes are unforgivable and encouraged participants to aim to stop U.S. and NATO military expansion and realize a peaceful society through non-violence from an Ireland that upholds political neutrality.


Okinawa Peace Movement Center director Hiroji Yamashiro had planned to discuss the current situation in Okinawa at the conference on November 17, but was unable to attend because of health concerns.

Hiroshi Inaba, who is currently appealing charges of forceful obstruction of police activity for his protest actions against the construction of a new U.S. base in Okinawa, will attend the conference.


A demonstration was held prior to the conference’s opening ceremony.


(English translation by T&CT and Sandi Aritza)


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