Oral Statement by Hiroji Yamashiro (June 15, 2017)
Hiroji Yamashiro addressed infringements on Okinawans’ rights at UN Human Rights Council on 15 June. Here is his oral statement.
Thank you Mr. President.
I am Hiroji Yamashiro. I lead the peaceful protest movement against human rights violations by the U.S. military bases in Okinawa, Japan.
The Governments of Japan and the U.S. are building military bases in Okinawa despite the strong opposition from Okinawan people.
Civilians are protesting the militarization everyday.
The Government of Japan dispatched large police forces in Okinawa to oppress and violently remove those civilians.
In the protest, I was arrested for a minor offence, followed by two retroactive arrests. I was detained for 5 months. I was not allowed to see anyone except lawyers. Not even my family. I was forced to confess and give up the protest activity. These are the clear human rights violations by the authorities.
However I and Okinawan people will never bow to oppression.
I demand the Government of Japan to stop human rights violations, and respect the Okinawan people’s will against the construction of new U.S. and Japanese military bases.
Thank you Mr. President
International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR)
All Okinawa Council for Human Rights, NGO without consultative status, also shares the views expressed in this statement.