Kin Town, Okinawa - Uchinanchu (Indigenous Okinawans) wave signs in front of U.S. Camp Hansen saying "Don't Pollute the Water of Life!", "Don't Pollute Our Water," "Stop PFOS", "No PFOAS, PFOA," and "We life in this water."
It was recently announced that the U.S. military has again poisoned Okinawa's drinking water. The amount of toxic chemicals found in the tap water in Kin Town, Okinawa in July 2020 was found to be at dangerously high levels. However, this information was only made available to the public recently. Citizens are outraged at the long delay.
The chemicals used by the U.S. military, PFOS and PFOA, are known as "forever chemicals" since they do not break down and can over time accumulate in living organisms, including humans. According to the CDC and EPA, these chemicals can cause a large array of debilitating health problems, including cancer.
"I told my children not to drink the tap water," said Ayaka Shimabuku of Kin Town. "Even if the toxins were under the recommended guidelines, I'm afraid that it will accumulate in our bodies little-by-little."
* English translation done by the Peace For Okinawa Coalition.
Link to original story in Ryukyu Shimpo:
The Peace For Okinawa Coalition is now on TikTok!
Kin Town - Both Ryukyu Shimpo and Okinawa Times are reporting that the water found near Kin Town in northern Okinawa contains dangerously high levels of toxic chemicals from the U.S. military. The levels were found July of last year, though only reported today.
Local residents of Kin Town are furious, saying they "feel betrayed," and demand to know why there was such a long delay in reporting.
Yasuharu Tokuda, a medical doctor based in Okinawa, tweeted that citizens should have their blood tested to see if they have been exposed to the toxins.
PFAS are known as "forever chemicals" since they do not degrade, and can accumulate over time.
A new article written by Leon Kaulahao Siu was published in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on September 30, 2021:
"There's nothing difficult about changing a school's name"
Hawaiians and supporters have long called for changing the name of McKinley High School, named after former U.S. president William McKinley.
McKinley was a war criminal and a staunch advocate of U.S. imperialism and militarism throughout the Pacific. He was responsible for the illegal annexation of Hawaii to the United States.
Link to original article:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
1 October 2021
The Peace For Okinawa Coalition denounces Governor David Ige's order allowing healthcare workers to deny medical treatment to people in the Hawaiian Islands aged 65 and older.
The order was signed on September 1, but not reported by the media until September 12 (Schaefers). It comes as a result of Hawaii's medical crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic, due largely to Governor Ige's decision to continue allowing large numbers of tourists into the Islands. Thus, the order is essentially a decision to sacrifice the elderly in exchange for tourism.
Although Governor Ige is of Okinawan descent, his lack of concern for the elderly directly contradicts Okinawan values. In Uchinaguchi, the Indigenous Okinawan language, there exists a famous proverb, “Tusui du takara,” or “The elderly are a precious treasure.” Uchinanchu are famous for longevity, due in part to caring for our elderly. Governor Ige's lack of respect for the elderly is abhorrent and unacceptable.
Hawaii has a large Uchinanchu (Indigenous Okinawan) diaspora population estimated to be around 50,000, many of whom could also be denied medical care by Governor Ige.
Furthermore, Governor Ige's order to ration healthcare is unnecessary. As Lieutenant Governor Josh Green points out, there are many other options that can be employed to ensure everyone in Hawaii has access to medical care (Green).
Under Governor Ige's leadership, Hawaiians as well as the Pacific Islander community at large have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. This appears to stem from Governor Ige's chronic disregard for the human rights of Hawaiians, as was witnessed at Mauna Kea.
Access to medical care is a fundamental human right that no one should be denied. We urge the United Nations and other human rights organizations to investigate and take action against Governor Ige.
The Peace For Okinawa Coalition is a non-profit organization headquartered in Okinawa City, with an extension office in Honolulu. Our mission is to promote Luchu / Okinawan culture, history, languages, and rights. We are founded and led by millennial Luchuans / Okinawans, and work with many others around the world.
Green, Josh. 9-18-2021. “Hawaii Should Never Ration Care.” https://www.facebook.com/LtGovJoshGreen/posts/1471283283244630
Schaefers, Allison. 9-12-2021. “Older patients could be denied treatment under Hawaii's 'crisis standards of care' plan if COVID-19 cases continue to surge.” Honolulu Star-Advertiser. https://www.staradvertiser.com/2021/09/12/hawaii-news/older-patients-could-be-denied-treatment-under-states-crisis-standards-of-care-plan-if-covid-19-cases-continue-to-surge/
PDF version of press release: