Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom IEC held in lieu of the 27th Triennial Congress, July 27-August 3, 2001 in Geneva, Switzerland:

WILPF International Executive meeting 2001 is deeply concerned over sexual assaults towards Japanese women by US military personnel. Although Japan is not in an armed conflict, militarism affects our lives, especially the lives of women. The US armed forces have been stationed in Japan since 1945, and have played a crucial role in US Far East military strategies. US bases are heavily concentrated on the islands of Okinawa, the southernmost region of Japan. Seventy-five percent of the US military facilities exclusively used by the US armed forces in Japan are located on the islands of Okinawa, which constitutes 0.6% of the entire land area of Japan. Okinawa hosts the largest number of Marine Corps personnel outside the United States.

The struggle of people in Okinawa against US military bases has a long history, yet it is only recently that the violence against Okinawan women committed by the US military personnel gained more visibility as a crucial issue of “human security.”

On July 29, 2001 another sexual crime was committed in the town of Chatan WILPF International Executive Committee Meeting 2001 calls for the withdrawal of the US bases and personnel who repeatedly commit these crimes. The human rights of Okinawan women are doubly assaulted, they suffer because they are women, and because they are an ethnic minority in Japan.