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1st Lt Watada’s Resistance Mobilizes Japanese American Opposition to War in Iraq

By Naomi Nakamura |
December 1, 2006
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More information on Lieutenant Watada’s case and growing support is on the web at: www.thankyouLt.org

San Jose, CA - More than 80 people gathered at the San Jose Buddhist Church Oct. 22 to learn about U.S. Army First Lieutenant Ehrin Watada, the first commissioned officer to refuse deployment to Iraq. Lieutenant Watada’s father, Bob Watada, and his wife, Rosa Sakanishi, explained the Lieutenant’s opposition to the war, which is both illegal and unjust. Also in the program were Reverend Gerald Sakamoto of the San Jose Buddhist Church, Dennis Kyne, a veteran of the first invasion of Iraq in 1991, the singing group Anne and the Vets and Reverend Motoe Yamada of the Wesley United Methodist Church. 

In a videotaped statement, World War II veteran Lewis Suzuki declared his support for Lieutenant Watada, saying, “In the Second World War, they [Germany, Japan and Italy] were the aggressors, spreading fascism and militarism. But in this war, we are the aggressors, and many innocent people are dying and our own troops are dying.”

Lieutenant Watada is currently facing a court-martial in Fort Lewis, Washington on charges of refusing deployment, conduct unbecoming of an officer and contempt towards President Bush.