Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is an economic forum promoting the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investments, economic and technical cooperation, and related issues. Many NGOs from Japan and other coutries participated in the No! APEC Yokohama People’s Forum.
Yokohama People’s Declaration (Summary)
The No! APEC Yokohama People’s Forum gathered on November 13-14, 2010 in Yokohama, Japan to protest against the APEC meeting held in the city. The executive committee consists of various individuals, citizens, workers, labour unions, civic groups, NGOs, and gender groups who oppose the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), issuing the following joint declaration:
The official Yokohama Vision presented at the APEC meeting has three pillars: regional economic integration, growth strategies, and secure communities. It boasts of the high economic growth in the Asia-Pacific Ocean nations, clinging to the myth of future economic growth. The content related to secure communities appears to despise the real security of citizens, instead valuing security of capital. We oppose the APEC Yokohama Vision, because it does not at all reflect the voice of the general public.
The following is a summary of the issues we discussed in great detail in subcommittee meetings. Consequently, the views were confirmed by all of the participants in the No! APEC Yokohama People’s Forum.
From the perspective of labour, the main issues include securing labour rights such as the rights to migrate, to live, to work and to organize. Free Trade Area of Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) should be discontinued as they destroy employment and livelihoods. Also, the activities of transnational corporations should be restricted, and corporate tax should be raised. All ILO agreements should be accepted and implemented. Discrimination of female workers in particular must be abolished, while equal wages should be paid.
From the perspective of guaranteeing security, the main issues include ending the focus on “efforts to create security from terrorism” and “security of capital” which are not consistent with the focus on “people’s security.” We oppose the military bases in Okinawa, and support the right to peace, which we consider as the true guarantee for “people’s security.”
From the perspective of food and agriculture, we oppose Free Trade Agreements, including the TPP, that destroys the food and farming in Japan and Asia. We oppose agricultural investments that take away water and land from farmers, and demand that the original rights of farmers should be returned. We also oppose the globalization that threatens biological diversity, including through genetically modified organisms.
From the perspective of development, we oppose the type of overseas investment that disrupt local budget planning for increasing local welfare and leads to environmental destruction. In many cases, such money only supports military governments, hostile to democracy. It also leads to debt problems. Farm land grab by foreign firms directly affects the livelihoods of local farmers in a negative way. IMF loans in particular should be discontinued and in the case of natural disasters, such as floods, debt relief should be immediate. We note that ODA has changed to become a way to support corporate interests in the donor countries. Thus we oppose ODA that does not resolve issues including poverty alleviation, human rights and environmental protection. A case in point is the attempt to make unreasonable profit by privatizing municipal water services. We strongly oppose Japanese efforts to profit from the water business in Asia and support efforts to help impoverished people get access to water. We also oppose the export of nuclear power plants, that we regard as the symbol of the reckless growth strategy.
From the perspective of gender issues, we demand proper pay and an end to the exploitation of women. Due to G20, APEC and other neoliberal policies, the burden for women have increased both at home and at work. We also demand reproductive rights and the right to health, including the legal right to safe abortions. Policies for population control as a way to deal with climate change should not be permitted. We also strongly oppose militarism because, with its inherent machismo, it leads to violence against women, including trafficking, prostitution and poverty, as well as many other problems, including environmental pollution.
We request governments to spend more on social services, that are suffering from export oriented economic policies, that also threaten food sovereignty. Social movements should all support the efforts to end discrimination and violence against women. To achieve this goal, let us unite internationally and fight for all aspects of social life, including domestic life.
Finally, we protest against Japan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry regarding the participation in the Forum by certain overseas participants, and the intentional delay in issuing visas by the Ministry of Justice and the Immigration Bureau, and in particular their relentless and obstinate information gathering process, that treated participants as criminals.
Contact: Executive Committee Secretariat
Yamaura Yasuaki, Consumers Union of Japan
Tel 03-5155-4765 Fax 03-5155-4767 E-mail email@example.com