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Interview with anti-war activist Iwao Lewis Suzuki

By staff |
March 4, 2012
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(Bay Area Day of Remembrance 2012 poster)
(Bay Area Day of Remembrance 2012 poster)

Berkeley, CA - Long time antiwar activist Iwao Lewis Suzuki was awarded the Clifford I. Uyeda Peace and Humanitarian award at the Day of Remembrance program in San Francisco, California on February 19, 2012. Dr. Clifford Uyeda was a long-time Japanese American community activist who championed redress and reparations for Japanese Americans incarcerated in U.S. concentration camps during World War II. He also publicized the almost 300 Japanese Americans who refused the military draft during World War II because their families were in concentration camps and spent on average two years in prison each for their courageous stand. Dr. Uyeda also worked to educate people about the atrocities committed by the Japanese Imperial Army during their occupation of China, including the Rape of Nanking. Fight Back! interviewed Mr. Suzuki at his home in Berkeley after the Day of Remembrance program.

Fight Back!: Would you like to tell our readers what you told the audience at the Day of Remembrance event in San Francisco when you received the Clifford Uyeda Peace and Humanitarian award?

Iwao Lewis Suzuki: I tried to say three things. First, that our country, the United States, is the only country that has used atomic weapons. We need to raise our voices to say that atomic bombs should never be used again. No More Hiroshimas! No More Nagasakis! (1)

Second, the United States should withdraw our military from Iraq and Afghanistan. U.S. troops are not there to liberate people, they are an occupying force.

Third, the Okinawan people’s movement to have U.S. military bases withdrawn from Okinawa is very strong. The United States should withdraw all of its military bases from Okinawa.(2)

Editors notes:

(1) The United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6th and August 9th, 1945. Hundreds of thousand of civilians were massacred, mainly women, children, and the elderly. Under the U.S. military occupation of Japan, it was against the law to give out information about the atomic bombings.

(2) The United States has a number of military bases on the island nation of Okinawa, which is part of Japan. Over two-thirds of all U.S. military forces in Japan are on these islands, which have only 1% of Japan’s population and 1/2 of 1% of Japan’s land area.