Anti-Obama Protests Across the Asia-Pacific

April 27, 2014

On April 22 during Obama's visit, mass protests against U.S.-Japan "security cooperation" took place in dozens of locations in Tokyo and throughout Japan.

Amongst other things, militarization of Japan is being stimulated by Obama's "Asia pivot."

Relying on its regional "security agreement" with Japan, and in direct opposition to the demand of the Japanese people and the Japanese constitution, the U.S. is calling for Japanese military engagement outside its borders.

The U.S. is stimulating the revival of Japanese militarism under the auspices of U.S. imperialism by spelling out Japan's military obligations in "the event of a crisis." The U.S. is also calling for increased U.S.-Japanese cooperation in "international peacekeeping."

An increasingly militarized Japan is purchasing sophisticated and high-tech weaponry from U.S. weapons dealers even while U.S. weapons transfers ensure the U.S. remains "the pre-eminent military power in the Pacific." The program of arms exports, through which the government serves directly as sales representative for U.S. monopoly capital, is not only a source of fabulous profits for such companies as Lockheed Martin, Boeing Co and Northrop Grumman Corp. It is also a means through which U.S. imperialism strengthens its network of aggressive alliances and bases.

According to an April 25 White House Press Release the U.S.-Japan alliance is "upgrading its forces using the latest cutting edge technology. We will be deploying U.S. Air Force Global Hawk unmanned aircraft rotationally, U.S. Navy P-8 maritime patrol aircraft, and U.S. Marine Corps F-35B aircraft. Remaining vigilant against emerging threats, we are also coordinating in bilateral working groups to address challenges in new domains such as space and cyberspace."

U.S. bases in Japan, along with those in South Korea, are considered by U.S. policy-makers as key to U.S. imperialism's aggressive strategy for projecting U.S. influence and asserting its economic interests throughout the region. Out of 100,000 U.S. troops stationed permanently in the region, 45,000 are permanently located in Japan.

U.S.-Japan "security cooperation" is clearly opposed by the masses of Japanese people who also continue to oppose the stationing of U.S. troops in Okinawa and Japan.

Demonstrators also linked the struggle against such imperialist institutions as the IMF and World Bank with the U.S.-Japan military alliance. Many voiced their opposition to plans for the establishment of a "Trans-Pacific Partnership" (TPP) that is, the creation of a U.S. dominated regional "free trade" zone.

Protests against Obama and the TPP also took place in Malaysia, South Korea and the Philippines. More are planned in the Philippines where Obama is scheduled to visit on April 28th and 29th.

The peoples of Asia have paid dearly in the past for U.S. imperialism's thirst for markets and strategic military outposts. Just since the end of World War II, U.S. imperialism has been responsible for the partitioning of China, launched direct, open aggression against Korea, waged the genocidal war against the peoples of Vietnam and Indo-China as well as carried out, in cooperation with local reactionary and fascist regimes, many counter-insurgency wars in the Philippines, in Indonesia and elsewhere.

Today, when there is growing rivalry and competition amongst the big imperialist powers in Asia and in every corner of the globe, the attempt by the U.S. to assert its influence and maintain large numbers of U.S. troops in the region is a grave danger to the peoples of Asia and the world.