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“What the U.S. Can Do to Help Japan Recover – Stop Demanding Billions From Japan for U.S. Bases” via DMZ Hawaii

Dear our friends in the U.S. peace community,
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.

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