Monday, February 7, 2022

Guahan (Guam) and Okinawa Peoples: COVID Another Source of US Military Contamination




We hear a lot of news about the COVID transmission, prevention, and infection rates here in US and even about a few European countries. We rarely hear about the transmission of the virus by the US military in two parts of the world dominated by the US military presence: the island nations of Okinawa and Guahan (Guam). Today we are in conversation with Suzuyo Takazato of Okinawa, Neaka Flores of Guahan (Guam), discuss the horrors of COVID infections on their small island nations  and Kozue Akibayahsi of Japan provide political context of the US military free reign in Okinawa. 


To listen, click here (58 Mins)


About Our Guests

Suzuyo Takazato is a driving force behind the crucial question posed to the present militarized global security system: for whom does the military provide security? She is a long-time feminist peace activist who has analyzed the interplay between sexism and militarism from the experiences of women in Okinawa. Her work has inspired global feminist peace movements for structural understanding of violence against women. Suzuyo helped create Okinawa’s first rape crisis center to provide hotline and face-to-face counseling to victims of sexual violence, and in 1995, Suzuyo’s activism led to a large-scale protest by people of Okinawa against US military bases. She is a founder and co-chair of Okinawa Women Act against Military Violence.

Kozue Akibayashi is a feminist researcher/activist, has worked on issues of gender and peace, and is longtime supporter of Okinawa Women Act against Military Violence. She is a professor at Graduate School of Global Studies, Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan,  a member of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom,


Monaeka (Naek) Flores (she/they) is a queer CHamoru artist and activist. Naek is a member of dynamic community organizations that focus on CHamoru self-determination, environmental justice, and the protection of sacred sites: Prutehi Litekyan – Save Ritidian, I Hagan Famalåo’an Guåhan, and Independent Guåhan, all of which are part of the Fanohge Coalition 


All three are members of the International Women's Network against Militarism.


Additional Resources

"The military as a neglected pathogen transmitter, from the nineteenth century to COVID-19: a systematic review"

"Okinawa chief rips U.S. military over spread of Omicron variant" Asahi Shimbun

"Okinawa, hub for US military bases in Japan, reports record number of COVID-19 infections" The Hill

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