From: “Global Network” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dear our friends in the peace community in the U.S.,
This is Emiko HIRANO, international section head of the New Japan Women’s Association (Shinfujin).Thank you very much for solidarity, compassion and support you have been extending to us, in this most difficult time in our postwar history. You keep reminding us that we are not alone in enduring and recovering from the unprecedented tragedy.
President Barack Obama said in his statement on Thursday, “We will stand with the people of Japan as they contain this crisis, recover from this hardship, and rebuild their great nation.” We are grateful that the president of our ally is ready to do whatever it can to help us out of this tragedy.
The New Japan Women’s Association calls on our sisters and brothers, friends of the U.S. peace and just movement to ask your president to return the money he receives from the Japanese government, that is our taxpayers’ money, to cover the 75 percent of the cost of the U.S. military stationing in Japan. We have over 130 U.S. military bases and facilities with about 40,000 personnel. The expenses for the maintaining the U.S. military in our country is called “sympathy budget,” (host nation support in your media) because it covers far beyond the Japan’s obligation under the Security Treaty; it includes the salaries of the Japanese employees working in the bases, as well as heating, electricity and water, and even dry-cleaning charges of military families. In 2010, the expenses totaled nearly 190 billion yen (about $1.6 billion), and Japan covers 50 percent of all the cost of U.S. military stationed around the world.
With the unprecedented scale of damage in Tohoku region, well-known for its fishery and agricultural products, and the possible radiation contamination, we need money for the rescue work and for assisting the people who barely survived to recover. In the long run, Japan will need more and more money not only for the reconstruction of the disaster-stricken areas but also for recovering from the economic and human losses we are facing as a whole nation. We cannot afford sustaining U.S. military bases and daily life of the military families any more while we need money to help our fellow people living in sorrow, grief and fear to get back to their normal life as soon as possible, although life will not be the same as it used to be.
Please tell your president to show his support by saying that he kindly declines to receive the “sympathy budget.” Please tell your congresswomen, congressmen and senators to present a resolution to this end.
Here in Japan, the New Japan Women’s Association, urges the Japanese government to stop spending the Japanese people money for maintaining the U.S. military and to reallocate the budget for human need, with immediate focus on the assistance to the Tohoku population. We believe this will lead to the drastic cut in military spending to make our world safer for all and more sustainable.
International Section Head
New Japan Women’s Association
5-10-20, Koishikawa, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-0002 JAPAN
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