Oleg Bodrov, a physicist, ecologist, chairperson of the Public Council of the South Coast of the Gulf of Finland ,

St. Petersburg, Russia

Kon’nichiwa!

Dear participants of the conference! Today I’m here with you not only to bow my head in memory of the victims of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Fukushima. I am here to unite our efforts against the expansion of military and so-called peaceful atomic technologies.

Unfortunately, Japanese historical lessons of using “military” and “peaceful” nuclear energy are not learned in many parts of our planet.

I am from the Еastern part of the Baltic Sea region, from St. Petersburg, Russia. Through the Baltic Sea, there is a line of confrontation between Russia and NATO.

Here the military exercises of NATO and Russia are developing rapidly and steadily. Tens of thousands of soldiers from both sides take part in them. During the exercises, the use of nuclear weapons is simulated.

The Russian government has published conditions under which Russia will be the first to use nuclear weapons. This can happen even if the threat from outside is not linked to the use of nuclear weapons. In the same time according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russia, “the prohibition of nuclear weapons contradicts the national interests of Russia.”

During recent military exercises, President Vladimir Putin personally launched the Russian “nuclear triad”. Four transcontinental missiles were launched from submarines, as well as from air and ground-based facilities capable of carrying nuclear weapons. Thus, the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of Russia demonstrated a psychological readiness to use nuclear weapons.

Dear colleagues, for many years I have lived on the Baltic sea coast, next to St. Petersburg, a few kilometers from the one of the largest nuclear clusters on our planet. Here, 10 military and civilian nuclear reactors were built and 3 new reactors are currently under construction. In addition, there are 5,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel assemblies containing as much plutonium as there were if 3,000 bombs were dropped on Nagasaki.

Sosnovy Bor’s Nuclear Cluster

In addition, more than 30 NPP nuclear reactors were built and 4 currently are under construction.

If a nuclear conflict in the Baltic begins, it will be a socio-ecological collapse for 100 million inhabitants of the Baltic region.

My colleagues from Scandinavia and I initiated the collection of signatures around the Baltic region with calls to the leaders of NATO countries and Russia, European and Russian Parliamentarians to stop the confrontation and militarization of the Baltic region.

We called on the parliaments of the countries around the Baltic to finance programs to save the Baltic ecosystem instead of military games.

Under our call, 110 representatives of non-governmental organizations from the Baltic region, as well as the United Kingdom, France and the United States signed.

Dear participants of the Conference!

Russian President Putin promotes the idea that enemies surround the country, and it is necessary to invest all necessary national resources in military preparations. Thanks to this, the militarization of the public consciousness can be intensified and the use of military force is justified.

A similar situation with the political mainstream about NATO exists in the European Union countries. The politicians of NATO, EU and Russia try to separate us, to make us enemies.

We are against such a strategy!

If you come to the countryside near St. Petersburg, Hiroshima or Nagasaki and ask the people what is most important for you in life?

I am sure that most people will say: the health of children and relatives, a healthy peaceful environment, decent work.

Dear friends, we live in our common house – Planet Earth!

We raise our children together with you and need a healthy environment.

Together we can and must stop nuclear expansion and the militarization of public consciousness in our countries.

Let us unite our efforts to save our planet Earth from military and “peaceful” nuclear technologies.

No more Hiroshima, No more Nagasaki, no more Chernobyl, no more Fukushima!

Statement for Special Meeting 1 on Nuclear-free, bases free Japan and Okinawa

Jerry Ross
Delegate from USA

Respectful greetings to our hosts, those gathered here from across Japan, and especially to the citizens of Okinawa Prefecture. My name is Jerry Ross and I come from the United States where I live in the State of Massachusetts, near the city of Boston.

It is a privilege to participate in this Special Meeting but a source of remorse and embarrassment as I have come to learn more about the actions of my country in its vast military presence in Okinawa and its continued exploitation of its land and people.

Let me say just a word about who I am and how I came to be here today. I am NOT an expert on US bases in Okinawa. When I was asked to participate in this meeting as a visiting delegate from the United States, I was fortunate to receive a quick tutoring in the issues from Dr. Joseph Gerson, who IS an expert and a long-time friend and advocate of the Okinawan people. Mostly I am here to learn, but I will share what I suspect are common perspectives in the United States regarding bases abroad and a little of what is going on more generally in my country.

Unfortunately, I believe most Americans have very little awareness of the number and cost of US military installations around the world, and even less understanding of their impact on the people and places in which they are located. Let me cite a few figures you are all probably aware of: nearly 800 bases, in over 70 countries and territories, at a cost ranging from $100 billion dollars a year, to nearly $200 billion if you include those in active warzones. If bases are talked about at all, it is in the context of “forward staging” of men and material to “deter aggression.” The credibility of such national security claims, how those bases impact the lands they are on, or the legality or morality of their being there at all, gathers little if any attention in US media. Given the overall size of this deployment, Okinawa, even with its 30-some bases which comprise 70% of Japanese territory used by the US military, Okinawa I am sad to say, would be, in American slang, “a drop in the water-bucket,” meaning, a very small part in something much greater. Add to that the general lack of information about Okinawa — the typical American might ask, “Is it a part of Japan, or an independent country, located exactly where?” I am afraid there is little public appreciation in my country for the harm these bases cause to the Okinawan people or their long-suffering efforts to have them removed. All of which is to emphasize the importance of continued resistance from the Okinawan people, support for them from among the Japanese people as a whole, and the need for people like myself to carry back to the US what we have learned about your struggle.

Let me also comment for a moment on the general state of affairs in America today. Those of us who worried how terrible things might become under a Donald Trump presidency were wrong. It is even far worse than we imagined. Not in our wildest dreams did we anticipate the depth of his attacks on our national polity and norms of our society. Nor did we recognize the depths of collusion to which the Republican party would descend in order to retain power. Although American institutions are strong and great resistance has emerged within our population, many of us feel we are in a struggle for the survival of our country as we have known it. To put it mildly, Americans are at this time consumed with many worries “close to home.”

Now, I need to say there is at least a tiny light in all this gloom, and that is the joint Base Closure statement organized by my colleague Joseph Gerson of the Campaign for Peace Disarmament and Common Security, and now being circulated for signature by leaders from across the globe. Originally issued in 2014 and signed by over 100 of the world’s leading Scholars, Artists, and Activists, it called for support of the Okinawan people in their resistance to the planned construction of the new US base at Henoko. It has now been updated and calls for the closure of ALL US foreign military bases. Addressed to President Donald Trump, Secretary of Defense Mattis, and the US Congress, it details the fundamental reasons foreign military bases fail to serve American interests, actually increase US security problems, and have a profoundly negative impact on the land and people where they are located. The declaration stands as “an unequivocal statement of support for the people of Okinawa in their struggle for peace, dignity, human rights and protection of their environment…”

We should all be inspired by the courage and determination of the Okinawan people. We at this conference, in any way we are able, and the Japanese people as a whole, should support their Okinawan brethren in their long nonviolent struggle to remove these bases and recover their land and independence.