Area Residents from Japan Join the Massive Anti-War
Rally, Raise Japanese Voice for Peace
Oakland, CA --October 02, 2001
Amidst increasing likelihood of military retaliation against those responsible for the
recent terrorist attacks, a massive anti-war
rally and march was staged on September 29, 2001,
at Dolores Park in San Francisco. More than 40
Japanese residents in the Bay Area joined the
rally, waving Japanese language placards and
indelible images of Hiroshima, urging US, Japan
and other world leaders to cooperate for a
peaceful means to eradicate terrorism.
The Japanese participants are part of the newly established US-Japan-NoWarNetwork, which seeks to mobilize people from Japan in the Bay Area to raise the unequivocal Japanese demand for peace internationally. Currently, Japan stands side by
side with the Bush Administration, as it gears up
for warfare with Afghanistan.
The massive anti-war rally was organized and sponsored by Act Now to
Stop War and End Racism (A.N.S.W.E.R.), a
national coalition of civil organizations and
individuals seeking justice through peaceful
means. The coalition also staged simultaneous
rallies in Los Angeles and Washington, DC where
it is headquartered.
In the nation's capital, more
than ten thousand protesters marched between rows
of police officers bordering the sidewalks, and
police helicopters circling the sky in close
The San Francisco Bay Area, which includes
Berkeley and Oakland in the Eastern part of the
Bay, is well-known for its high-profile anti-war
movement during the Vietnam War. Since the recent
terrorist attacks, the Bay Area has already seen
a plethora of community responses to the imminent
war, ranging from a music concert in San
Francisco, a rally at UC Berkeley attended by 2,000
students, to a weekly protest demonstration at
Lake Merritt in Oakland.
In the Japanese
community, an ad hoc house meeting offered space
for fellow Japanese to come together and discuss
the recent tragic crisis and its implications in
their native tongue. Thus developed the US-Japan-NoWar
Network, which so far has released an anti-war
statement upon Prime Minister Koizumi's arrival
in Washington on September 25, and mobilized to
express Japanese solidarity for peace in the San
Francisco rally this past Saturday.
Kashiwagi, a co-founder of the US-Japan-NoWar
Network, insists "there are many people
opposed to military retaliation, or at least
seriously concerned about it, while condemning
terrorism and taking part in our collective
prayers for the victims and their families."
"Linking such people in Japan and the US who
share a common desire for peace, the Network aims
at elevating the peaceful solution as a viable
alternative," said Mr. Kashiwagi.
Network has set up the online Anti-War Resource
Center at www.jprn.org to promote information
exchange in Japan and the US. US-Japan-NoWar@freeml.com
is a public listserve set up to facilitate active
discussion in both Japanese and English fonts.
Those interested in volunteering or getting
involved are encouraged to contact the JPRN
office at 510-891-9045.