crime

Naha prosecutors indict civilian employee of U.S. base after SOFA revision

59 Comments

The Naha District Public Prosecutors Office on Friday indicted the American driver involved in the Jan 12 traffic fatality on charges of negligent driving resulting in death, NHK reported.

The indictment comes after the Japanese and U.S. governments agreed to review the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) in a bid to allow Japanese law enforcement authorities, in certain situations, to try U.S. military personnel and U.S. civilian employees on military bases, who break Japanese laws while stationed in Japan, Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba told a news conference.

In the Jan 12 incident, Rufus James Ramsey III, 24, who works at a supermarket on a U.S. military base in Okinawa, was involved in a traffic collision that resulted in the death of Koki Yogi, a 19-year-old man, NHK reported.

However, he was not indicted by Okinawan police at the time because he was deemed to be on duty at the time of the incident. The U.S. imposed a five-year driving ban on him.

The incident provoked demonstrations following which there was increased pressure on the U.S. to change the current rules recognizing car accidents committed by U.S. personnel who drank alcohol at U.S. military official events as having done so while "on duty."

The current interpretation of the Status of Forces Agreement gives the United States primary jurisdiction in cases involving civilian employees on bases who cause accidents or commit crimes when on duty.

The new rules will allow for the possibility of a trial under Japanese law for civilian employees of U.S. bases, known as Army and Air Force Exchange Service employees, who have committed fatal or serious crimes as well as caused accidents when on duty.

However, the U.S. still has to waive its jurisdiction and give consent to Japanese authorities in any criminal case. The U.S. military gave its consent Friday for Ramsey to be indicted,m NHK reported.

The latest announcement is part of the government's effort to reduce the burden on Okinawa in a bid to win its support for the planned relocation of the Futenma base within the prefecture.

© Japan Today

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59 Comments
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The guy was on duty, not drunk, and just made a mistake. He should not be tried by the Japanese. Now in rape, murder, arson, and grand theft cases, yes, hand them over.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

What happened to this guy under the UCMJ? Also, do these new rules mean that Japanese courts can impose their own sentencing on someone who has already been tried under the UCMJ? Or will it mean the US military would have to relinquish their right to try that individual if the Japanese courts do?

If it's the former then isn't it similar to double jeopardy?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It's about time!!

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

What happened to this guy under the UCMJ?

they suspended his driving privileges for five years. Main point here is that these people are not being tried by the US, so Japan wants the opportunity to do so. To answer your other question this only applies to those cases resulting in death of serious injury that the US does not take to court.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japan has been abused by these stupid double standards for much too long. Do I feel sorry for this idiot from some base there in Okinawa, sure kind of but not as sorry as I feel for the poor young girl who was killed or for her family. Poor young Uminchu as the Okinawans call their people, RIP.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

The US Supreme Court ruled in 1960 that civilians cannot be court- martialed in peacetime. Therefore it's better for Japan to have jurisdiction of civilians in serious cases. This man only got suspension of his driver's license for 5 years. In the fifties we didn't have SOFA. We had the administrative agreement instead which was signed in 1952. This reminded me of the "Girard incident" of 1957 in which a US soldier killed a Japanese woman at a firing range.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

soldave

What happened to this guy under the UCMJ?

USMJ doesn't apply because this guy wasn't an active duty service member but only a civilian employed by AAFES at one of their on-base stores. That said, whoever (CO, JAG, etc.) that decided to shield this idiot with the ridiculous argument that he was on duty should be fired.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

This is why the Japanese are made at us Americans. In Japan, "You do the crime, you do the time." This guy should have been tried,convicted, and thrown in jail, plain and simple. Hard to believe he's still working for the U.S. Government on a base.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I admit I only read the headline but I have to say that this is GOOD news for Japan. Anyone, living anywhere should not be immune to the laws of the land in which they reside. BTW, I also think that "Diplomatic Immunity" is BS as well.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Good for Japan. Dangerous precedent for American troops - thanks to Walter Mondale!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I agree being a former Government employee in Japan 20 years ago. If they break the law off base they must be tried thru the Japanese system. It seems to have been an accident but their was a death involved and if he was in the wrong he needs to face the consequences. This should not only apply to the local hires (AAFES, NAF and others that are hired locally but to all SOFA based residents) . The US military presence has outworn it's welcome and needs to follow all laws of Japan when laws are broken off base.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I think most readers are looking at this as a positive for Japan. More than likely this will divide the US-Japan alliance and make Okinawans more hostile against US bases in the long run. Think critically - Do you recall what happen when a US military helicopter crashed on an Okinawan school? Luckily no students were on campus at the time. If there were students on campus and students were hurt how would SOFA control?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Wait - I don't get something here - the article is vague on several points. Was Ramsey drunk, and if so, how drunk, and who provided the measurements? Who was at fault in the accident? What were the vehicle types? Sorry; this information may be available over different channels, but this article is so vague as to say, "Two guys had an accident in which one died, and one may escape responsibility, though he may actually bare no responsibility at all."

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

NIMBY or is this the beginning of a revolt?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The new rules will allow for the possibility of a trial under Japanese law for civilian employees of U.S. bases, known as Army and Air Force Exchange Service employees, who have committed fatal or serious crimes as well as caused accidents when on duty.

Uhmmm there AAFES does not cover all the civilian employee's on base. There are contractor's, Dodd's employee's, USO, MCCS, NAFI, and dependents that also work privately as well.

This guy deserved to be tried off base, as it was an off base incident. Good to see the SOFA revised here. I would bet that the revision as well has a lot to do with trying to appease Okinawan politicians and the public to agree with Futenma's move as well. The timing of this is interesting to say the least, after all these years of working to get this pushed through.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

He killed someone in a traffic accident - a 19 year old kid.

Why on Earth wasn't he tried before this?

Of course, ANY person who commits a crime while on Japanese soil, whatever nationality, military or not has to suffer the consequences.

Would it be any different if a Japanese person killed an American in a traffic accident in the States?

I don't think so.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

John you have to understand the SOFA and what it covers to get your answer. Like it or not the guy was fully within his rights to make the claim that he did. Fortunately the US and Japanese Governments came to their senses and amended the SOFA and now the guy will face the Japanese justice system.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Okinawa has zero tolerance laws for drinking and driving. Even passengers are fined if a driver is caught driving intoxicated. A large number of US Military members violate their laws by driving while intoxicated laws each year. Some American drivers are very aggressive in their driving habits. Such as tailgating, running lights after turning red, not stopping for pedestrians to cross, weaving in and out of traffic, etc. much like they may drive in the States. I believe the US military has educated it's members and their families as to Japanese driving laws, but a few people choose to ignore them for their own selfish intentions. The amended SOFA agreement is good for the Okinawans as well as Americans stationed there. The US members now have a larger incentive to follow Okinawa's laws, and the Okinawans can seek justice for its citizens. Surely we would expect the same if the tables were reversed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This individual is not a member of the military and is not protected by the Military Code of Justice. Japan needs to stop treating Americans as first class citizens, and the Japanese people need to have their government repeal the country's status as a protectorate of the US, which is what Article 9 made of them. Every American citizen does not deserve diplomatic immunity, which is essentially what they've had since the end of the Second World War. Let's hope that this case is the beginning of a new era where US citizens are held accountable for their actions.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well the base pulled his driving permit for 5 years. I think that is the max possible. They do not do things like that for minor infractions. The civilian employee is being accused of Professional Negligence resulting in death. Unlike the states, it does not matter if he was drunk or sober to be responsible though if drunk it would carry a higher penalty.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I would like to start by saying that there is some seriously bad logic being displayed by some and I for one cannot find justification for this outside of it being the result of anti-American bias. The desire to slam the US so clouds the minds of some of the posters that their comments would be almost comical if not for the fact that they were made in earnest. This man may or may not be guilty; he has not been tried by any court. So let’s hold the claims of guilt until an impartial Japanese court renders a verdict. I think that this move to change SOPA is a good move. But it doesn’t mean that there will be all that much of a change in attitude, those opposed will still be opposed etc, but rather it will make it so that there is more clarity in how to address situations like this. Again, it would be good if we were to stop and reread. The guy, a civilian, is accused of being at fault in an accident that cost a Japanese citizen her life. Accident is the key word; this is not a murder we are talking about. So no UCMJ and these changes will not change how US servicemen/women are treated. Now the real debate should not be on if a US civilian should be tried in Japanese court, yes of course they should and have been for some time, but rather if US civilians can expect a fair trial in a Japanese justice system that has shown itself to be run by xenophobic prosecutors, who routinely seek harsher sentences and get them for non-Japanese. I would expect that it would not be too tough to get the venue moved if needed but one wonders how the outcome of this case will mesh with the outcome of the Japanese man who had a fatal accident while driving a tour bus last year. What did he get again for the killing three people?? Something like just under a year in jail and three years of probation! I guess we will see.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

However, the U.S. still has to waive its jurisdiction and give consent to Japanese authorities in any criminal case.

Then, US has to move out from Okinawa. This is a critical issue for both countries if they want to maintain bases in Okinawa. No B.S. about it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

notasap, no "anti-american" bias...everyone needs to be held accountable to Japanese law while in Japan. There should not be one standard for the SOFA people and one for non SOFA people. If he goes to jail or not is up to the court but the family of the teen will know justice will be served on this young man. As for double jeopardy, if in America the troops get to face both the civilian and military punishment. Why should it be different just because they are in Japan?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yuri this case has zero to do with US troops....that is my point. I agree, please reread, that SOPA should have been changed so as to have US civilians tried in US courts. Again, the UCMJ has no authority over US civilians and US yes US troops are held to higher standards and face stiffer justice when they commit crimes, often to the point that the local authorities will drop pursuit of a case if they know the military is prosecuting it. My concern is whether or not US civilians, especially those working on US military bases overseas, can expect a fair trial. I'm not sure that they can in Okinawa, a place where I bet being American is like walking to plate with two strikes.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

sorry I meant "US civilians tried in US Japanese courts"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have never seen one Japanese driver yield for a pedestrian at a crosswalk (not even for old ladies). If you do it does not happen on mainland Japan or must not be part of the manual in driving school. Second SOFA is not diplomatic immunity. Japanese police and prosecutors are able to hold you for 23-days without even a defense attorney present during torture and interrogation. Why do you think there are so many "confessions" in Japan?? No concept of CSI seems to exists in Japan. If the guy is guilt of "vechile homicide" let the Japanese prosecutors collect evidence and prepare a formal arrest warrant. There was no reason for America to modify SOFA and no reason for America to be in Okinawa. Let Russia, China, South and North Korea control the land. When Okinawans are forced to speak Russian, Chinese or Korean they will wake up quick.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Five year driving ban! Thats pretty lenient. Even if something like that happened in the USA itself, a five year ban on driving would be outrages.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

outrages in the sense that people in the USA itself would demand more, who can blame the Japanese on this. As an American myself I find that "punishment" he received to be ridiculous.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Badge213. I think you are jumping the gun. There is nothing in the article that the 19 year old's death was "vehicle homicide." It states "traffic collision." Obviously you are misinformed about the law if the 19 year "contributed to the accident" (contributory negligence) or the "traffic accident" was not foreseeable then it is not "vehicle homicide." If the Japanese prosecutors had their man they would have issued a formal arrest warrant based on the evidence. Yet, Walter Mondale and Team Obama strikes again. Changing SOFA will only make these types of issues worst for the alliance and Okinawans in the future. Since Osaka is more open-minded best to have Osaka, America, and Okinawans find a mutual understanding regarding SOFA. Tokyo should not be in the picture. Okinawans are not mad at US forces they are frustrated with Tokyo.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The driver who caused the accident wasn't drunk - don't know why everyone keeps on harping about this. A few minutes doing on a Google search will tell you pretty much the history of this incident. He was driving his car way too fast, and flew right into the victim's car which caused the fatality. The driver was 20 years old (not 19 as the article reads) - apparently he was going to celebrate his adulthood with his family at a pre-planned party.

Was the punishment too lenient? I would hesitantly agree it was, but I don't know all of the factors that were considered when judgement was passed. Involuntary manslaughter as the result of NOT being drunk, in the US would typically be a year or two in jail and/or whatever monetary fines that are standard protocol for such an offense. Afterwards, the victim (or family) could sue the accused for civil damages (monetary punishment) - that's not considered double jeopardy. What I see here a dangerous precedent, in which if the victim (or a gang of protestors) isn't satisfied with the initial verdict of the accused, they'll be more incline to throw the SOFA revision card on the table to get a second chance of desired outcome. The US just needs to get out of Japan altogether and let the Japanese SDF's take care of their own block for a while.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Weasel. I agree with your statement but there are no "facts or evidence" that stated that this guy "was driving too fast." By whose standards are we measuring the "speed limit here?" There is no factual information that I can gather that either the (19 year old / 20 year old) and the SOFA-sponsored guy was at fault. Therefore, judgement should be based on the evidence. Japanese prosecutors have an opportunity to investigate and file a formal arrest warrant without Team Obama modifying SOFA. Sorry for both families in this case. Their love ones are only being used as "pawns" in a big game of chess.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

RealJapan: The US military found that Ramsey was guilty of something, be it negligent driving, speeding, etc and they penalized him. Would the US suspend his license for not breaking the law? According to the Stars and Stripes, Ramsey veered into Yogi's vehicle. I'm curious as to what factual information you've gathered other than what you've read on the internet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@notasap, This man may or may not be guilty; he has not been tried by any court.

He admitted to the accident, like it or not that makes him guilty of at the least, according to Japanese law professional negligence. The base did not take his driver license for five years for no reason.

Again, it would be good if we were to stop and reread.The guy, a civilian, is accused of being at fault in an accident that cost a Japanese citizen her life.

Koki Yogi, a 19-year-old man, NHK reported.

Take your own advice.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@brkman. That is the whole point: Where is the "factual information?" All we know is that a 1) traffic collision occurred, 2) a young man died, 3) Okinawans protest, 4.) the SOFA guy has his license suspended for 5-years (I assume Japanese license, 5) SOFA is revised, and 6) Naha indicts the SOFA guy nearly a year later. Too many questions unanswered: Was the SOFA guy driving on base or off base at the time? Was he driving using a military, US or Japanese driving license? Was his act (if negligent) malicious or intnentional? Was the act foreseeable? Did the 19-year-old contribute to the accident? Did the issue of Okinawans protesting influence or impede a reasonable investigation? Did the SOFA guy drive reckless enough breaking the speed limit? If so is it customary for drivers to reasonably drive over the sped limit in which the SOFA guy was driving?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Looks like a traffic accident to me - not vehicle homicide. Japanese prosecutors should investigate and indict based on the facts and rule of law - not be influenced by protestors.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Too many unknowns and too much focus on the SOFA guy. Is it possible that the traffic collision was just a fender bender and the 19-year-old died as a result of a heart attack? Is it possible that the 20-year-old who died (correct age written in a thread above) had been drinking while celebrating Coming to Age Day and contributed to the collision? Surely, Japan will not let American investigators violate the privacy rights of the person who died so that US authorities can do an autopsy and determine the blood alcohol level of the individual who died prior to the accident.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Looks like a traffic accident to me - not vehicle homicide.

While you blast everyone for jumping to conclusions you are doing the same there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

RealJapan, laws in Japan are different. In America unless there is signs of extreme negligence there are no charges. In Japan it is against the law to get in an accident and considered Professional negligence resulting in injury/death. Ahain they pulled his license for 5 years. He had to have done something.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Badge123. Have not jumped to any conclusions. I stated "too many unknowns and too much focus on the SOFA guy." It is not justice. I simply put forth questions for commentors to think for themselves. Unfortunately you like the American government through the guy under the bus. "you stated: the us military found him guilty." how do you know? Since the guy was driving in his official capacity during the traffic collision then the "supermarket and military are the responsible parties - not the SOFA guy per se unless he was driving recklessly or caused the collison maliciously or did it intentionally. No one knows and that is the point. A joint investigation between Japan and the US should have been conducted to find out the cause of death and to establish jurisdiction. SOFA did not have to be modified. If we want to be real the only reason he was handed over is because Japan has reneged on the Futenma Base issue and he was an expendable employee. If the 19-year-old family is satisfied with the verdict than bless them. However, it is not based on the law or justice. Just pawns in a game of chess. It will hurt Japan, America, and Okinawans in the long run.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Looks like a traffic accident - not vehicle homicide to me is an opinion. Not a found judgement or a conclusion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not a final judgement (correction)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For all those who couldn't understand or didn't read the fine print, This Guy Is NOT in the military, he's a civilian, he's just some schmuck that works at the grocery store, as it has always been, civilians DO NOT Get the same treatment under the SOFA, they NEVER have. The only thing different here is that the Japanese actually wanted jurisdiction. I would speculate the guy was probably drinking OR Speeding, OR had a history of accidents involving Speed or Alcohol... This is NOT a simple case of some innocent guy, being railroaded, I guarantee there are some details that are not being made public. Even as racist as Okinawa is, I don't think that is the only factor, or the base would simply tell the JN police to kiss their arses, and have a nice day, and to enjoy their freedom, democracy, and prosperity that was given them...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

4.) the SOFA guy has his license suspended for 5-years (I assume Japanese license,

Don't assume this one please. Civilians and military alike under SOFA status do not have Japanese driver's licenses. All they get is what is called a SOFA stamp on their license that allows them to drive off of the bases. For example a 16 year old can get a license to drive on base, but because Japanese law does not allow anyone under the age of 18 to get a automobile license they can not legally drive off of the bases.

SOFA did not have to be modified

It certainly did need to be modified because according to the SOFA the people accused of an incidents like this could and do claim SOFA protection and are, by their rights accorded, not turned over to Japanese authorities.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@China Sailor. Please do some reading on SOFA. You are misinformed. SOFA covers civilians and dependents just like the military. The only issue is this guy would not be protected perhaps under the UCMJ.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One thing, and maybe I missed it somewhere if anyone previously posted it is this;

This guy is getting investigated after the fact. Usually when agreements are changed or modified they affect from the now on and not incidents that occurred prior to the change. According to NHK news last night there have been something like 60 plus incidents over the past 5 years that would have been covered by this change in the agreement.

This is not an isolated case, and if the reported numbers are accurate, they occur at an average on one time per month. This not only goes for Okinawa but all US SOFA status personnel in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Yubaru. Not sure about the issue of SOFA-status members getting an official Japanese license. However, do know that SOFA status members take a Japanese driving exam, eye test, and have to drive either a manual or automatic to determine what type of "Japanese license" they received. In terms of SOFA being modified I think not. Japanese prosecutors cannot simply say "hand them over" to file charges after the fact. Show or prove it by evidence. SOFA allowed it. It is not diplomatic immunity. Also @Yubaru you most know that Japanese prosecutors can question anyone without the Japanese defense attorney being in the same room.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I truly feel sorry for the military and SOFA sponsored personnel. Unbeknownst to most Okinawans is that the people stationed in Japan didn't choose to be there.

Anybody could have the same kind of accident. Driving by far is one of the most dangerous things you can do. Once again, I'm not defending this guy. I do feel sorry for him though. If he is convicted they should consider him a political prisoner.

I believe it is impossible to receive a fair trial in the political crossfire that is Okinawa. There are individuals who are pulling strings in order to add bullets to their career resume.

It would appear that the move was done to appease the local government. As military, those individuals have already signed away most of their civil rights. You could never understand unless you've read the fine print and walked a mile in their shoes.

Personally, I don't want any of America's tax money to protect a nation of people who don't appreciate it. Don't want to hear any more Okinawa stories. Would be better if we just left and let the Japanese protect themselves.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In terms of numbers involving US Forces, between 1952 - 2004 (excludes pre- 1972 Okinawa) there were 201,481 cases (including accidents) of which 47,218 were on-duty (517 Japanese deaths) and 154,263 were off-duty (559 Japanese deaths). (Administrative Agreement 1952-1960. SOFA 1960-2004). 1955 had 11,072 cases (63 Japanese deaths), 1975 had 2,370 cases ( 2 Japanese deaths), 2004 had 1,866 cases (2 Japanese deaths).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

NetNinjaNov. 26, 2011 - 12:18PM JST

Personally, I don't want any of America's tax money to protect a nation of people who don't appreciate it.

Two points, first appreciation and demanding justice are two different things. Second, Japan had been the top as foreign investor(contributor) in US bond and still possess second place. Please keep those two points in mind before bashing Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

NetNinja,

Personally, I don't want any of America's tax money to protect a nation of people who don't appreciate it.

And the $1 trillion of American foreign debt held by Japan?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Globalwatcher -

Then, US has to move out from Okinawa. This is a critical issue for both countries if they want to maintain bases in Okinawa. No B.S. about it.

This is the point. The US military has to move out of Okinawa.

It has no place here.

With no bases here, there would be no reason for anyone to attack.

So, why have US military bases here?

They aren't defending anyone.

The fact that this situation has gone on so long and US military can get away with almost anything just shows up the incredibly poor bargaining power of the Japanese politicians.

This has gone on long enough.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Thanks CrazyJoe for the stats. @yuriotani - I do not disagree with you, but find it hard to believe that this person will be able to drive in Japan solely on a US license. He had to have had a Japanese license of some kind or have taken a Japanese driver's exam. As such, perhaps, Japan suspended his license? Also, I find it hard to believe that the US military can suspend a US state issue driver's license. According to the stats CrazyJoe provided these types of collisions have occurred before. Thus, why the need to modify SOFA?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@RealJapan No problem.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Yubaru. Not sure about the issue of SOFA-status members getting an official Japanese license. However, do know that SOFA status members take a Japanese driving exam, eye test, and have to drive either a manual or automatic to determine what type of "Japanese license" they received. In terms of SOFA being modified I think not. Japanese prosecutors cannot simply say "hand them over" to file charges after the fact. Show or prove it by evidence. SOFA allowed it. It is not diplomatic immunity. Also @Yubaru you most know that Japanese prosecutors can question anyone without the Japanese defense attorney being in the same room.

They do not get Japanese drivers licenses, it's black and white. One HAS to have a Japanese address, meaning OFF BASE to get a Japanese license. There are some SOFA folks, through their wives or girlfriends or BF's that apply for and get Japanese licenses BUT those are separate from their SOFA one's.

And what has a Japanese prosecutor have to do about drivers licenses? Different topics altogether. And BTW yeah I know, I live here and been here probably longer than 90% of the people posting here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@CrazyJoe, awesome on the stats. Where were you able to dig up the info, if you don't mind my asking?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They get a permit to drive vehicles. The issuing authority is the base authorities. Last one I saw was a piece of paper the size of a license, no picture. They are only suppose to drive Y or A plate cars with the exception of rentals. Too many tickets and the base suspends the permit. About being harder on military and Y plate vehicles. I am not sure myself. My guess is the Japanese police would rather not deal with a no Japanese speaking person unless they could not avoid it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

CrazyJoeNov. 26, 2011 - 04:06PM JST

In terms of numbers involving US Forces, between 1952 - 2004 (excludes pre- 1972 Okinawa) there were 201,481 cases (including accidents) of which 47,218 were on-duty (517 Japanese deaths) and 154,263 were off-duty (559 Japanese deaths). (Administrative Agreement 1952-1960. SOFA 1960-2004). 1955 had 11,072 cases (63 Japanese deaths), 1975 had 2,370 cases ( 2 Japanese deaths), 2004 had 1,866 cases (2 Japanese deaths).

The bigger question is how many were properly prosecuted and charged? Japan certainly did not since according to the report Japan did not have the authority. Were they prosecuted by US authorities? And if so how many were actually charged and sentenced?

That is what the big fuss is all about.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What should be looked at is post reversion information, anything before that and it was the RAC responsibility and had nothing to do with Japan. Because of the differences in laws between Japan and the USA the SOFA was created to afford the US Military and SOFA status people the same rights that they would be afforded as if they were in the USA.

This change has more to do with Futenma then anything else. The foreign minister recently visited Okinawa and discussed this issue with Nakaima, the prefectural governor, and it came across as if this was a concession on the part of the Japanese government to appease the Okinawan people to get them to accept Futenma being moved to Henoko.

Nakaima thanked the foreign minister and told him that his position on that issue hasn't changed but thanks from the bottom of his heart for taking this step forward. Actually that was reversed, he thanked him first and then told him no.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thanks Yubaru and YuriOtani for the post. Good clarification on the license issue for SOFA residents.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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