t the same time, 18 different organizations from inside and outside Okinawa
published a common declaration. The official statement offering peace,
ecology, health, welfare, and human rights as priorities, presents the
following action program:
Stress direct dialogue between NGOs and heads of governments.
he common statement of local NGOs from Okinawa states that, "Peace
for the next 1,000 years starts from Okinawa". In other words, there
is a need to transform economic structures into ecologically sustainable
systems and to readjust and reduce military bases. The participation of
a large number of NGOs in the action to make a human chain of Kadena airbase
has brought a new dimension to the issue.
- Eradicate poverty and re-structure the unjust international economic system.
- Drop the debt of poor countries.
- Thorough legislation to regulate the genetic rearrangement of crops and
- Ecological programs to meet illegal deforestation, destruction of the Ozone
layers and global warmth.
- Stress direct dialogue between NGOs and heads of governments.
e rushed out of our homes when the TV cameras reported that the heads of
state were passing in front of our houses by car. Primary school boys were
shouting, "That's Schroder's car". An old woman neighbor said
joyfully, "I have something to report to my old husband in heaven:
I've seen with my own eyes Blair, the English Prime Minister, passing in
front of our house". In Yomitan village Clinton suddenly got out of
his car to shake hands with people standing on both sides of the road.
Such happenings of the different heads of government became daily conversation
at home those days.
|The Summit was held in our Village
fter Clinton's speech at the Monument of Peace, a lady, unable to remain
indifferent at the sight of the President shaking hands with people and
perspiring all over, wiped his forehead with her handkerchief. Those were
frightened moments, because when the guards saw the pictures sent by helicopters,
they thought the President had been hit and that it was already too late
to react. A full alert defense network was laid with 22,000 police and
more than 100 patrol boats.
t the invitation of some towns, the heads of government of Germany, England,
Canada and Italy together with the chairman of the European Union visited
those towns and received very warm receptions. They amused themselves playing
ice hockey together and they scored points playing judo. They entertained
each other cordially with shouts of joy. On the other hand, a teacher standing
by at the road where the summit leaders were passing said in a low voice,
"every Sunday children and teachers are rounded up to keep the surroundings
clean. This is forced labor under the name of volunteer service".
here is a strong feeling that, although $750,000,000 had been spent to
hold the summit, the results have been practically none. In spite of it,
many citizen groups took advantage of the summit to hold international
conferences and public meetings that dealt with human rights, the environment,
women and economic issues. Citizens discussed world peace and military
bases, from various angles, and looked for world visions as we enter the
21st century. All these events constitute big historical assets for the
future of Okinawa. The Okinawa summit produced other side effects, like
the children and the high school students' summits. Thus, the children
of several small islands of Okinawa were given the opportunity of looking
at global situations. Should people ask me to refer to the origin of the
demands for peace, I would say that it is most important to generate in
children an inclination for international exchange programs that are locally
rooted. After all, children are the ones to live an unclear 21st century
and to build up the future.