Ceasefire in Gaza, No War on China

Gaza is under attack by Israeli forces. Hospitals, refugee camps, and schools have been bombed indiscriminately, and even the water supply, which is indispensable for survival, has been cut off. Hamas, the target of the Israeli military’s attacks, has gone underground, and it is the residents who are exposed to the bombing. This reminds us of the Battle of Okinawa, where the residents were sacrificed more than the soldiers, as they fled between U.S. and Japanese soldiers and were exposed to the “iron storm. No, the current situation in Gaza is not the Okinawa of the past, but the Okinawa of the future.

As if as a Christmas present from the Japanese and U.S. governments, a Japan-U.S. joint operation plan was announced on December 24, 2021, which called for a “Taiwan contingency” to be the battlefield. Since then, preparations for war in the Nansei Islands have been rapid. Missile deployment, joint use of Japan-U.S. facilities and deployment of the Self-Defense Forces as called for in the two-plus-two document are almost complete, unrealistic evacuation plans have been announced, and joint Japan-U.S. exercises continue. According to the operation plan, the U.S. and Japanese forces will attack from the islands with surface-to-ship missile launchers (HIMAS), moving within the islands and between them, and the residents will be the ones who are hit by the counterattack. The SDF does not have the capacity to evacuate the residents. The SDF officers’ statement that “the SDF does not have the capacity to evacuate the residents, so we have no choice but to let the local government do it” seems to be an advance notice of the lesson of the Battle of Okinawa that “the military does not protect the residents,” and the undergrounding of the SDF headquarters in Yonaguni foretells of a protracted war.

In Gaza, 40% of the more than 10,000 dead are children. Mothers cry out that “the world is attacking us” with the dead bodies of their children in their arms, and men complain that they are being abandoned. There was hope for a ceasefire after demonstrations calling for an immediate ceasefire broke out by the tens of thousands in various countries, but the attacks resumed only for a short time. The hostage exchange between Hamas and Israel showed us that the Hamas hostage operation was aimed at releasing Palestinians, including many children held in Israeli prisons, and that the hardships of the Palestinian occupation cannot be dismissed as terrorism. We need many people in many places to speak out for an “immediate ceasefire” to prevent further deaths in attacks that are internationally condemned as inhumane. It is also a call against more wars in East Asia, with Okinawa as the battleground.

On Saturday, December 23, a rally calling for an “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza will be held in the afternoon in front of the prefectural government office, including a demonstration on Kokusai-dori Avenue. We would like to invite many people to attend.