Von: <sipila@kominf.pp.fi>
An: <kominform@lists.EUnet.fi>
Betreff: wwnews Digest #362
Datum: Samstag, 15. Dezember 2001 20:58



Special to Workers World
Kyoto, Japan

Representatives of organizations from six Asian countries
and the U.S. have agreed to coordinate activities against
the expanding Pentagon war that began in Afghanistan. The
groups gathered in Kyoto, Japan, on Nov. 23-24 for the ninth
assembly of the Campaign Coordinating Body of the Asia Wide
Campaign Against U.S. and Japanese Aggression and Domination
of Asia (AWC).

Besides the international representatives, many workers,
students and other progressive activists from Japan
participated. For the first time the AWC invited a
representative from the U.S. to attend. Sarah Sloan
represented the New York City-based International Action

The IAC is an anti-war and social justice organization. Last
September, when it became clear that the Bush administration
was preparing a military response to Sept. 11, it helped to
initiate the International Act Now to Stop War & End Racism
(ANSWER) coalition.


The Asia Wide Campaign (AWC) was formed in 1992. It includes
BAYAN (New Patriotic Alliance) of the Philippines, Labor
Rights Association of Taiwan, AWC South Korea Committee, the
Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, Mutual Assistance Fund
of Indonesia, the General Federation of Nepalese Trade
Unions and AWC Japan.

This regional network of anti-imperialist and pro-worker
organizations was formed in response to the increased
militarism of Japanese imperialism. In September 1992, the
Japanese government dispatched its armed forces--known as
the Self Defense Forces (SDFs)--for the first time since
World War II.

Since then, the Campaign Coordinating Body of the AWC has
held annual assemblies in each of its member countries. It
has also helped to mobilize for struggles in the Philippines
in November 1996 and Malaysia in November 1998 against the
imperialist-dominated Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
(APEC), as well as an international joint struggle against
the richest imperialist countries, known as the G8, in
Okinawa, Japan, in July of last year.

This year's assembly included detailed "country reports" on
the economic situation for workers, effects of Sept. 11, and
anti-war movement made by Ho Youngu, the First Vice
President of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions; Wong
Lixia, the advisor of the Labor Rights Association from
Taiwan; Teddy Casiño, the National Secretary General of
BAYAN from the Philippines; Cipto from the Mutual Progress
Foundation and Cultural Activists Network of Indonesia;
Keshav Pandey, the Secretary of the Asian Students
Association and a representative of the All Nepal National
Free Students Union; and Sarah Sloan, the National Youth and
Student Coordinator of the International Action Center and
an organizer for International ANSWER.


Members adopted a "Joint Action Program" for the coming
year. The number one point on the agenda is a campaign to
"Stop the War and Work for Peace." This includes opposition
to U.S. wars of aggression and protest of Japanese
imperialism's participation in them.

Participants adopted the "Asia-Pacific People's Joint
Declaration," which states in part, "We vehemently condemn
the U.S. plot to further expand their war on any other
country [after Afghanistan]. ... In the name of 'fighting
terrorism,' the two countries [U.S. and Britain] are trying
to justify their intention to destroy the Taliban regime by
force and create a puppet regime that meets their interests
over the Middle East and Central Asia. ... We peoples in
Asia-Pacific must unite for global peace and bring together
our largest voices in this declaration."

The declaration also accuses the U.S. and Britain of war
crimes for the many civilians killed in the bombing of
Afghanistan. It notes the aim of "dismantling anti-U.S.
struggles in the region, including the Palestinian popular
uprising," condemns the governments in Asia that have
provided political and logistical support for the war, and
demands the removal of all U.S. bases and military personnel
from Asia.

The second point of the joint program calls for
international anti-war united action, specifically for all
member organizations of AWC to join international anti-war
calls made by International ANSWER.

The action program also includes support for workers
opposing neoliberalism; support for the independent and
peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula, and
opposition to imperialist interference; opposition to U.S.
bases in South Korea, Okinawa and elsewhere; and struggle
against international institutions and conferences such as
those of the World Trade Organization, International
Monetary Fund, APEC and G8.


Following the conference, the AWC Japan sponsored a national
tour of public forums, rallies and meetings for the
international delegates.

The first, held on Nov. 25, coincided with the dispatch by
the Japanese government of forces for so-called logistical
support for the bombing of Afghanistan. In Fukuoka, the
local AWC chapter held a public forum and then a march
through downtown to the U.S. Consulate.

Following presentations by the international delegates from
the CCB conference, students from Yamaguchi University and
Yamaguchi Prefecture University reported on their anti-war
activities on campus.

Osamu Chimura, Takaaki Abe and Kubota Akie reported that the
overwhelming majority of students on their campus opposed
both the U.S.-led bombing of Afghanistan and the presence of
U.S. military bases in Asia. They have conducted a signature
campaign and a sit-down strike against the war. These
students are members of Anti-Invasion Asian Students Joint
Action in Japan, a member of AWC Japan.

Thihiro Teranaka--a young representative of the 300,000
victims of nuclear weapons living in Japan--reported on her
organization's opposition to war and its assistance to the
many people disabled because they or their parents were
victims of the atomic bombs dropped by the U.S. on Japan in
1945. Terenaka's parents were in Hiroshima when the bomb was

Makoto Motomura, the Fukuoka chairperson of the National
Union of General Workers--also a member organization of AWC
Japan--spoke on the increasing firings and layoffs resulting
from structural adjustment programs and reforms imposed by
the current government of Junichiro Koizumi. Motomura
reported that the situation of unemployment and homelessness
is worsening in Japan.

Following his talk, five fired or laid-off workers gave
reports, including one from an elderly persons' home, a
truck driver, a telephone and an office worker. All are
members of the National Union of General Workers, a radical
alternative to the main pro-government national union.

There was also a talk on the need for solidarity with the
struggle of Korean people living in Japan who face both
institutionalized and social discrimination and racism.

Similar meetings and rallies followed in Shizuoka, Kyoto,
Osaka City, Aichi, Okinawa, Kobe and finally Tokyo.

The Tokyo rally at the Japanese government office and the
U.S. Embassy, followed by a public forum, marked the
culmination of a year-long signature campaign against U.S.
bases in Asia. It was also a protest against the U.S. war in
Afghanistan and the involvement of Japanese imperialism.


Via Workers World News Service
Reprinted from the Dec. 20, 2001
issue of Workers World newspaper