Rob Kajiwara will be traveling to Washington D.C. from April 12-19 to speak with dozens of foreign affairs advisors of members of Congress regarding the military base being built at Henoko, Okinawa. Rob Kajiwara is a prominent singer-songwriter, author, visual artist, and human rights activist. He is the director of the Peace For Okinawa Coalition, a U.S.-based multi-national organization that promotes the rights and well-being of Okinawans and of other peoples and nations worldwide.
Image: Rob Kajiwara Henoko, Beach. Courtesy of Taro Oogesa.
On December 8, 2018 Rob Kajiwara started a petition calling for a halt to the construction work of a new military base that is destroying a coral reef in Okinawa. The reef is home to hundreds of rare and endangered species, such as the Okinawa dugong, and is said to be the second-most biodiverse reef in the world, only behind the Great Barrier Reef. The petition met with immediate popularity and received over 100,000 signatures in just ten days, including endorsements from numerous celebrities, such as Dr. Brian May of the rock band Queen, composers Van Dyke Parks and Ryuichi Sakamoto, Japanese fashion model Rola, and many others. The petition currently has over 211,000 signatures, and can be found here: bit.ly/standwithokinawa.
Image: Rob Kajiwara meeting Governor of Okinawa Denny Tamaki. Courtesy of Ryukyu Shimpo.
Any petition on the White House's We the People website that receives at least 100,000 signatures within 30 days is guaranteed a response from the White House within 60 days. The White House, however, has not responded in almost three months to the petition, nor has it responded to the many inquiries signees have sent. This will be Rob Kajiwara's second trip to Washington D.C. to request a response from the White House. He previously traveled to Washington in January. The Peace For Okinawa Coalition has requested a meeting with President Trump or one of his aids to discuss this matter in-person. On April 18 Rob Kajiwara will also be stopping by Yale University to speak with a student organization about how he came to write the petition.
Rob Kajiwara is the best-selling Okinawan-Hawaiian author, singer-songwriter, and visual artist. Rob Kajiwara, the director of the Peace For Okinawa Coalition (PeaceForOkinawa.org), is known for his work in human rights and environmental advocacy and has been widely celebrated and publicized in the Asia-Pacific region, gaining numerous honors and distinctions. He has been featured in over 40 news and media publications in more than 12 countries, including the Associated Press, BBC World, the Washington Post, People's Daily, Japan Times, and many more. His latest book is Occupied Okinawa: The United States of America and Japan's Desecration of Okinawa's Democracy and Environment. For more information please see his website RobKajiwara.com.