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APALA Supports Okinawa Governor Tamaki’s Call to Stop the Transfer of Additional U.S. Military Base to Area
Washington D.C. - Leaders and staff of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA) will meet with Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki in Washington, D.C. today. This will be Gov. Tamaki’s first time in the U.S. since 2019 to advocate for Okinawa's views on regional security matters as well as the issues faced by the local community because of U.S. military bases in Okinawa. APALA echoes calls from Gov. Tamaki and local activists to reduce the U.S. military presence in Okinawa.
Okinawa Prefecture accounts for only 0.6% of Japan’s total land area yet 74.4% of the area is exclusively used by U.S. Forces to the detriment of the local community. Governor Tamaki won re-election in 2022 by highlighting his opposition to the planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Air Station Futenma in Ginowan to the Henoko coastal district in Nago, both in Okinawa Prefecture. The relocation is heavily opposed by Okinawa residents who rejected the transfer in the gubernatorial elections in 2014, 2018 and again by referendum in 2019.
APALA has a long relationship with labor, peace, and environmental activists in Tokyo and Okinawa with delegations attending APALA’s past three conventions. APALA sent its first ever international delegation to Okinawa and Tokyo in 2019 to develop ties with International Labor Organizations, especially with Labor Unions in Asia and the Pacific, and seek steps to promote peace.
APALA will continue to support the movement for peace and environmental stability, and oppose U.S. military base expansion in Okinawa. We will continue to educate U.S. union leaders, Asian American community leaders, and elected officials about the situation in Okinawa and the social and environmental consequences for the local community.
Founded in 1992, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), AFL-CIO, is the first and only national organization of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) workers. Backed with strong support of the AFL-CIO, APALA has more than 20 chapters and pre-chapters and a national office in Washington, D.C.