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U.S. serviceman apologizes for assaulting boy in Okinawa

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“The parents told him that they want him to stand trial in a Japanese court, and the man replied that he is ready to do so,” the official said, adding that the boy listened to the conversation on a monitor from a different room.

AMAZING. The guy man's up and apologizes and said he intends to stand trial in Japan and it doesn't get a single post. But when he claimed he couldn't remember striking the boy, it drew nearly 100 comments. Says a lot about the U.S. bashers who frequent this site.

-19 ( +9 / -27 )

The story has just been posted. Please post something more pertinent to the story.

“Accompanied by his seniors, the man told the parents that he did something inexcusable and said he was very sorry,” the official said.

And it should never ever happen again... PERIOD!

And I would follow it up with... And You Young Japanese Parents, People, Are Welcome for the Freedom and Prosperity that was given to you by the U.S and NATO!

Too many good Americans gave their Lives for it... Respect Americans...And they will in turn Respect you!

Good Day!

-15 ( +11 / -26 )

herefornow, um...maybe because this article was only posted less than 30 minutes ago? LoL!

6 ( +10 / -4 )

And I would follow it up with... And You Young Japanese Parents, People, Are Welcome for the Freedom and Prosperity that was given to you by the U.S and NATO!

Too many good Americans gave their Lives for it... Respect Americans...And they will in turn Respect you!

Respect works both ways. How long should the present generation have to be held accountable for the acts of their ancestors? And when you are talking about Okinawa, you are talking about a people who have been victims of both the Japanese Imperialists and the US military. Lest you forget, the war ended 67 years ago except when it is dragged out to beat Okinawa over the head with it. Move on from the past and show respect to those who host the US on their traditional lands.

14 ( +22 / -8 )

"Japanese police, who have yet to issue an arrest warrant"

Now would be a good time, last week would have been better.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

The parents told him that they want him to stand trial in a Japanese court

In other words, "apology not accepted."

9 ( +13 / -4 )

What i still cant understand is...why? Why all this trouble just to punch a 13 y.o. What a nutter

5 ( +7 / -2 )

AMAZING. The guy man's up and apologizes and said he intends to stand trial in Japan and it doesn't get a single post. But when he claimed he couldn't remember striking the boy, it drew nearly 100 comments. Says a lot about the U.S. bashers who frequent this site.

Yes, I heard about thisas well, but Why are you surprised by this? This is how the media works. I used to work for the media back in the states 98% of the media is totally left and virtually the same goes for Europe, not to mention that when you add the anti-American hysteria to that, it's mind-numbing. It's more fun for Europeans to blame all their problems and woes to bash America. Is America perfect, No, but we have done more good and helped more nations than any other country. We saved Europe twice, gave them money, same as Japan, contributed towards nation building and this is the huge Thank you? What the guy did was appalling and he should stand trail, he manned up and is willing to take his medicine, but do you hear that on the air waves, silence, but if there is ANY crime that is perpetrated by an American, front page for weeks. Why, because everyone wants a scapegoat and it creates more sensationalism if America looks like the big boogeyman.

3 ( +12 / -10 )

Stay on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

AMAZING. The guy man's up and apologizes and said he intends to stand trial in Japan

He doesnt have a choice about standing trial here, please dont imply otherwise. His apology, the only reason for it I do believe, is to get a lesser sentence.

I wonder how much cash they paid the familiy in (bribe) compensation?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

And I would follow it up with... And You Young Japanese Parents, People, Are Welcome for the Freedom and Prosperity that was given to you by the U.S and NATO!

NATO? When did Japan become a part of NATO? When has NATO been a part of the US-Japan Security Pact?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@papigiulio, don't forget ... he thought he could fly away afterwards.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If the guy does not remember, perhaps he is apologizing for something he may not have done?

Are the Japanese police going to take him into custody for 23 days without charges, and interogate him day and night until he confesses?

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Sounds like a forced apology using the same cohesive measures as always. The parents wanting him to stand trial in Japan is also fishy, usually assault cases like this end in settlements, especially since the boy was uninjured. For them to not consider settlement means they've been given money TO follow with charges, so we can expect this man to have absolutely no chance at a fair trial.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

maybe he should have stuck with the, "i'm drunk and don't remember" shtick that most people use to get away with criminal offenses. as the saying goes, "when in tokyo, do as...."

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I think that you need to consider they are engaged in rigorous training in a foreign land far away from home. There is peace in the face of transience that Japan has built on the sacrifice of many Americans. Most American soldiiers are polite and many save lives although the Japanese press does not report it.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

CrazyJoe Nov. 13, 2012 - 09:29AM JST

So, we should be thankful to the US for doing their job? Does that mean accepting a certain amount of collateral damage? Bus drivers also do their jobs. Should we also consider the fact that they do their job if they beat up children in a drunken incident, too?

As for "peace in transience," the US tightly controlled Japan for many years after the war and the current security agreement one of the results of that control. It seems rather out of hand for the US to constantly drag out this excuse when the situation was created by the US. Nor should Japan be blamed for adapting to the environment created by the US. No one knows what Japan would be like if their was no Japan/US security agreement.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

It's a grown man, most likely well built hitting a 13 year old in the face while drunk and breaking into someone else home.

He gets off easy, is not a citizen of Japan, and all because he serves in the U.S military on Japanese soil. Does anyone else see the madness in this?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Amazing how much politics the people here get out of a simple incident. I have no problem with US service answering for crimes committed in Japan to Japanese courts. I mean after all we keep claiming that japan is an independent country and our ally, no reason to treat them as though they were still under our control. I really don't think any country likes to have foreign troops in their country all the time and then have the not being subject to local law. Can you imagine who we would be screaming here in the United States if we had a similar situation here, a foreign country's military with its on bases and its service people protected fro our law even when they commit a crime.

I am sorry but Americans are people, not special no matter how special they be think they are for the sake of their egos. American has done most of the bad things that other world powers have done so we don't deserve special treatment. the sooner we give up this need to feel special the sooner we will be acting like a equal citizen of this world and the sooner people might even get to like us.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

@Ch1n4Sailor

And I would follow it up with... And You Young Japanese Parents, People, Are Welcome for the Freedom and Prosperity that was given to you by the U.S and NATO! Too many good Americans gave their Lives for it... Respect Americans...And they will in turn Respect you! Good Day!

The family had their child punched by a foreign military member. They have every right in the world to disrespect the foreign military as a whole, and I frankly would not blame them for disrespecting the country as a whole, and not give a damn whether the country respects you back. I'm all about reason and rationality, but I am not about to pretend that a home invasion by a drunk airman resulting in a physical assault on a child deserves any sort of social leniency (and certainly no legal leniency).

But that is neither here nor there. There is no indication the family has or does disrespect either the military or the USA, even if they have the right to, and even if they did, pretending any of us can cash in the actions and sacrifices of our ancestors to demand respect is a dick move. They earned that respect; It's theirs, not ours.

@papigiulio

What i still cant understand is...why? Why all this trouble just to punch a 13 y.o. What a nutter

Nothing too complex. He was drunk. So drunk that even two hours later, he was still drunk. Drunk people do stupid things.

@Yubaru

He doesnt have a choice about standing trial here, please dont imply otherwise.

Agreed.

His apology, the only reason for it I do believe, is to get a lesser sentence.

I see no reason to believe he isn't genuinely sorry that he did something so utterly idiotic. Particularly considering that his life is effectively over because of it.

I wonder how much cash they paid the familiy in (bribe) compensation?

Please do not demean the victims of violence by suggesting compensation is nothing more than bribery to forget justice in favor of gold. Compensation has a tradition going back millenia, and it is far preferable to demanding physical satisfaction from the criminal or just being ignored as a victim altogether.

@basroil

Sounds like a forced apology using the same cohesive measures as always.

Oh? You heard the actual apology?

The parents wanting him to stand trial in Japan is also fishy, usually assault cases like this end in settlements, especially since the boy was uninjured.

How they end is different from what parents would demand if their children were assaulted. Few people are familiar with the actual workings and available options in the legal system. Most simply have a general understanding that people get arrested, there is a trial, and some sort of decision is made.

Regardless, this is hardly a usual case. Even if the parents were to completely forgive and forget, it is unlikely that the governments of either side are going to let this slide given the current political climate on the foreign military issue.

For them to not consider settlement means they've been given money TO follow with charges,

Most parents don't even consider settlement as something that can be done without a trial to begin with. That's what the lawyers are for; they are the ones who know how things usually work and what would be the best option to follow.

so we can expect this man to have absolutely no chance at a fair trial.

Probably not. He will likely be made an example of.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Few Japanese would consider a trail for anything, especially for a one punch assault. Agree, seems fishy. Also, agree, the airman should stick to "too drunk to remember" defence and apologize repeatedly while bowing low, forehead to the ground. That is the Japanese way. This incident seems worthy of some public and lengthy community service by the accused, that`s about all.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

it's easy to say "I'm sorry", but to really mean it.. tsk... (反省) he was probably "advised" to apologize in person as not to taint the military's image further, for as i see it, if he did really mean it, i am sure the family would not have asked him to stand trial as combinibento pointed out:

"In other words, "apology not accepted.""

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

apologize repeatedly while bowing low, forehead to the ground. That is the Japanese way.

While Japanese will show approval of this display for minor incidents, without the cultural understanding of the apology and the bow, it is an empty gesture from a foreigner in this situation. That said, stereotyping other cultures seems to be a easy step for Americans. And, yes, I just stereotyped all Americans.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

It is not "anti American" to want to be secure in our homes and communities. While the parents want a trial do not think it is going to happen. So hopefully this is a settled issued. The parents receive compensation and the young man receives corrective action by the US military.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@AiserX

It's a grown man, most likely well built-

Ehh...it's an airman. They're not known for their physiques. Still, it is a grown man, that I grant you.

He gets off easy,

You believe he is going to get off without any sort of punishment? I can't see how he is even going to have much of a life after everything has settled down.

is not a citizen of Japan,

Wait...confused...

and all because he serves in the U.S military on Japanese soil.

Well, him not being a citizen of Japan doesn't really have anything to do with him being in the U.S. military. It certainly doesn't mean he is going to get off easy.

Does anyone else see the madness in this?

Yeah. Most people wait till the results are in before deciding what they are.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@taro67

" No one knows what Japan would be like if their was no Japan/US security agreement." Your statement is hypothetical. That's like saying no one knows what would have happened if the victim was a girl instead of a boy. In Japan there is a saying 罪を憎んで人を憎まず. ( tsumi wo nikunnde hito wo nikumazu) Condemn the crime, not the person.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If a drunk Japanese salaryman punched a 13 year old child of a serviceman, do you think the US MP's would lock that man up for weeks while the Japanese government just sat there idly? Would the Japanese people demand for the drunken guy to stand trial after he apologized? Just curious what other people honestly think.

FYI: I, american living in tokyo, was verbally and physically assaulted by a japanese middleaged man not 2 weeks ago outside of my home and when I reported this to the Japanese police, they asked a few questions before saying "sorry we can't do anything now. let us know if he does it again." basically, a typical "shoganai" answer.

Let's try to think about situations from both sides before we go and judge.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Ch1n4Sailor

And I would follow it up with... And You Young Japanese Parents, People, Are Welcome for the Freedom and Prosperity that was given to you by the U.S and NATO!

Too many good Americans gave their Lives for it... Respect Americans...And they will in turn Respect you!

So what you're saying is this American serviceman broke into their home and punched a 13-year old in the face BECAUSE the parents didn't respect all those Americans who gave their lives in the name of freedom and prosperity?

Riiiight..... He made a moral stand, did he?

Or perhaps the serviceman was just looking to burgle a home and steal something. Save your speech for something more worthy.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

No one does the USA or the military any favours by trying to justify the criminal behaviour US servicemen.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

CrazyJoe Nov. 13, 2012 - 10:32AM JST

As for the hypothetical, you seemed to indicate that post-war peace in Japan was "built on the sacrifice of many Americans." This is an entirely American viewpoint. Many Japanese would have rather the US not showed so much interest in the affairs of Japan. American sacrifice has always been about American interests. Japan just happened to be in a location of US interest. Haiti is an example of a nation which the US has mostly abandoned because it does not serve US interests to spend resources there.

As for 罪を憎んで人を憎まず, it has more to do with the detrimental effects of hate on the individual who holds a grudge than for relieving the perpetrator from responsibility for his acts. One can forgive the person but the act should be punished. Forgiveness is a personal choice and not something for others to dictate or judge. Of course, all wisdom is open to interpretation for those who might use it to mitigate an unfortunate incident.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@sikd

I, american living in tokyo, was verbally and physically assaulted by a japanese middleaged man not 2 weeks ago outside of my home and when I reported this to the Japanese police, they asked a few questions before saying "sorry we can't do anything now. let us know if he does it again." basically, a typical "shoganai" answer.

To be fair, that would have been the answer from the cops in any major city worldwide.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If a drunk Japanese salaryman punched a 13 year old child of a serviceman, do you think the US MP's would lock that man up for weeks while the Japanese government just sat there idly? Would the Japanese people demand for the drunken guy to stand trial after he apologized? Just curious what other people honestly think.

If the incident took place inside the U.S. Jurisdiction, the answer would be yes. To your second question, that's another YES.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

My question is: what would have happened if the father of the child had struck back and hit the serviceman with a baseball bat? It would have been a pretty rational reaction; at least that's what I would have done if I had seen a stranger in my house punching my son.

These kind of incidents not only do they damage the image of us, foreigners, but also might cause a diplomatic issue between U.S and Japan. People should not view them simply as individual criminal acts but as something even more serious. And why do they always occur in Okinawa? It is not the only place where US servicemen are located, right? Is it just statistics or is there something else going on?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Please do not demean the victims of violence by suggesting compensation is nothing more than bribery to forget justice in favor of gold. Compensation has a tradition going back millenia, and it is far preferable to demanding physical satisfaction from the criminal or just being ignored as a victim altogether

Compensation is exactly a form of bribery, whether or not it goes back a millenia or not. Here in Japan the level of punishment meted out is in direct corellation to the amount of money paid with an apology.

Pay the cash get XXX number of years, don't pay and get XXXX MORE number of years.

Physical satisfaction from the criminal? Being ignored? Hardly, paying the cash means hey, I've got money, I'll pay you for my wrongs, just dont file charges and let me go free. Compensation is also a form of hush money, pay the cash and let it all go away quietly.

I wonder if this family acccepted the cash or not.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The U.S. serviceman has submitted to questioning by Japanese police, who have yet to issue an arrest warrant.

Do right, fly-guy.

Apologize to the boy. You've damaged his idea of what a grown man should act like.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If the parties were taking the advice of posters here, the boy would have apologized to the drunk serviceman, and thanked him for breaking into his home in the middle of the night, punching him in the face, boosting the local economy, protecting the region, and assaulting him within the normal statistical crime levels tolerable among any population of civilians.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

I dont understand all the anti-American statements, yes the incident was committed by an American service member, and lately there have been a rash of dummies doing stupid things, but as stated above, the media can be blamed for much of this. Although most of you might not want to hear it, the military here does do a lot for and with the community off base. From Special Olympics events to beach cleanups, to spending time with local kids from foster homes are just a small example of what is done by the military and family members who live here.

But in Okinawa, you would never know that, because the news stations only focus on the bad to make the military look like everyone is a bad person and we just spend our time getting in trouble. Not to mention all the things that happen off base by the local community but they have the option to not have their story aired. 99.99% of us love it here and never want to leave. Dont group us all together because of the acts of a few and because the media is one-sided and you dont have the sense to make your own decisions.

Why people think he will get off easy is beyond me. Regardless of if he goes to Japanese prison or not, he will still be dishonorably discharged from the military. He will be lucky if Mc Donalds will even hire him, not to mention he wont be able to use any of that GI Bill money to go to school, and those are just a couple of the things he will deal with. That doesnt seem "easy" to me.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

@Hikozaemon

If the parties were taking the advice of posters here, the boy would have apologized to the drunk serviceman, and thanked him for breaking into his home in the middle of the night, punching him in the face, boosting the local economy, protecting the region, and assaulting him within the normal statistical crime levels tolerable among any population of civilians.

Who has said anything even remotely close to this? Even Ch1n4Sailor's foolish comment doesn't call for excusing the crime, let alone flipping the entire criminal/victim roles.

@Yubaru

Compensation is exactly a form of bribery, whether or not it goes back a millenia or not.

No, it is not, and if you feel it is, I invite you to go to the father of a child victim and ask him if let himself be bribed in exchange for justice for his child. The simple fact that Compensation is often a part and parcel of a sentence including other punishments is enough to show it is not inherently bribery, let alone the actual legal definition.

Here in Japan the level of punishment meted out is in direct corellation to the amount of money paid with an apology.

Yes, as is done in most other countries. Compensation is part of a punishment; it stands to reason that a balanced punishment would moderate one aspect depending on the severity of the other. Compensation, by its very definition, is intended to make up for the loss or replacement of a given act. How closely money can repair a given loss or replace something lost will determine what other punishment could apply.

When one views judiciary systems in the light of how to best fix a given situation, rather than as a zero sum game of winners and losers, it becomes a bit easier to understand. If an apology does indeed go a long way to fix the problem, then the punishment may be well reduced. If the apology does nothing, it probably won't be. Same with money. The amount depends on how well it will satisfactorily set the issue to rest. Same with other punishments. The entire purpose is to determine what combination of will allow all parties to be sufficiently satisfied that a resolution has been achieved.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

There is way too much anti-american bashing going on here. Why? Because some idiot who can't hold his alcohol does something stupid. How the remaining 99.999% of the US military forces on Okinawa who go about their daily business and never get in trouble. You people need to get a life.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Requesting to stand trial should mean that the family is not prepared to agree to any settlement ie compensation ie bribery.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

cabadajeNov. 13, 2012 - 10:01AM JST

The family had their child punched by a foreign military member. They have every right in the world to disrespect the foreign military as a whole

1) They MAY HAVE had their child punched by a military member.

2) They should also be angry at every student in their kid's school next time he gets bullied.

3) Everyone has the right to disrespect you too for everything bernie says, but I doubt they are lining up to do so.

Oh? You heard the actual apology?

Did you? No. The fact is they don't have the apology up anywhere, only that the cops said there was an apology. The guy could have said "I'm sorry you're too stupid to see there's no way I did it" and someone along the line just used "i'm sorry ... I did it". Get the original transcription, then we can decide if the statement was indeed an apology or simply a statement.

-14 ( +0 / -14 )

At least he seems to be taking responsibility for his actions.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

basroil: do you think this is only about the kid getting punched? the servicemember broke into the house and more or less 'terrorized' the family. there's definitely no question about it...unless you think the family invited him in.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Parents looking for some $$$ from the American gov't....not the weel being of their child.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

brknarmNov. 13, 2012 - 12:23PM JST

do you think this is only about the kid getting punched?

Legally, yes, it is ONLY about that. Charges of trespassing are a separate matter. This article only discusses that charge as well, so anything else is off topic.

the servicemember broke into the house

Nowhere do they say that actually (other than libelous AFP). The cops assume he entered the house, but they clearly said it was unlocked:

Japanese media said the unidentified 24-year-old serviceman, from the Kadena air base, entered an unlocked third-floor apartment in the building that housed the bar at around 1 a.m http://www.japantoday.com/category/crime/view/police-probe-u-s-serviceman-assault-claims-in-okinawa

Since it was unlocked, it's not breaking into anything, and thus they can't charge him with that.

and more or less 'terrorized' the family.

What family? According to the initial report from the parents, the two children were alone, and from the cops it was a quick kick the TV, hit the boy, jump out a window sequence. Nothing in the case adds up, and sure as hell doesn't add up to "terrorizing the family".

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Just have the servicemember due 15-days of community service with the family, pay for damages, and upon completion certified by a Japanese court, 10-days restricted duty on the base. No jail time needed. The community service may even allow the servicemember and the teen to bond together. As for payment of damages, it should be deducted from the paychecks of the servicemember's top superiors (officers only). A curfew was in place. Time for top superiors to make payment to the teen.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Parents looking for some $$$ from the American gov't....not the weel being of their child.

So, we aren't supposed to disparage the entire US military because of the acts of a few drunken "idiots," but it's okay to paint Okinawan parents of a victim as greedy, heartless, opportunistic - and even thoughtlessly bad parents - (straight from the official Kevin Maher playbook) even though the article says nothing about a settlement? Nice.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Just have the servicemember due 15-days of community service with the family, pay for damages, and upon completion certified by a Japanese court, 10-days restricted duty on the base. No jail time needed. The community service may even allow the servicemember and the teen to bond together.

So, you want to punish the teenaged victim, too? What makes you think he wants to "bond" with the man who beat him up?

I do, however, agree that the CO - all the way up the Japan forces chain of command - should pay for this and all incidents involving people under their command. That would assure the elimination of all incidents.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@basroil

1) They MAY HAVE had their child punched by a military member.

I am going to go ahead and take the serviceman's apology as a tacit admission of culpability. Whether he actually did or not is irrelevant at this point.

2) They should also be angry at every student in their kid's school next time he gets bullied.

"Should"? No. Wouldn't blame them if they were. Certainly wouldn't blame them for including the school as well.

3) Everyone has the right to disrespect you too for everything bernie says, but I doubt they are lining up to do so.

Don't know what bernie said. Without knowing what he said, I don't know if they do or don't. Unless they are the direct victims, no they do not.

Oh? You heard the actual apology? Did you?

No, I did not. Which is why I did not presume to pass any judgement on how the apology sounded.

No. The fact is they don't have the apology up anywhere, only that the cops said there was an apology. The guy could have said "I'm sorry you're too stupid to see there's no way I did it" and someone along the line just used "i'm sorry ... I did it". Get the original transcription, then we can decide if the statement was indeed an apology or simply a statement.

Agreed. Trying to say what the apology sounded like or not without the actual apology is little more than idle speculation.

Of course, a little more speculation would be that it is unlikely that newspapers would ignore such a delicious newsbite as a serviceman in the presence of his lawyer and seniors, gave anything other than a sincere and respectful apology. But again, that's also speculation. Or common sense. people can make up their own mind on that.

@brknarm

basroil: do you think this is only about the kid getting punched? the servicemember broke into the house and more or less 'terrorized' the family.

Agreed. A home invasion of any kind, let alone one with property damage, generates a far greater feeling of violation than most people who have not been through it would think. Add to that assault on a child, and it would be difficult to understand the level of outrage involved.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@taro67: I stated "may even allow..." Let the teen and 24-year-old decide for themselves. A Japanese court can allow community service. The military and/or Japanese police can provide an objective interpreter if requested or needed. Let the teen and the 24-year-old problem-solve the situation together. Would be good for both instead throwing one in jail and the other growing up disliking all foreigners. Let the teen and 24-year-old work it out together.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

RealJapan Nov. 13, 2012 - 01:01PM JST

A 13-yo should not be put in that situation. Even asking him to decide is too much. That said, if the man really wanted to make amends after his punishment and reached out to the boy, it would certainly show sincerity on his behalf and would be a positive step...if the boy agreed. If done as part of the punishment, sincerity would not be assured.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

All a drama.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's a grown man, most likely well built

Rather assuming of you..........and irrelevant. All is said and done and his career is over. Drunk and foolishly broke the rules. Your post made very little sense.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

is a saying 罪を憎んで人を憎まず. ( tsumi wo nikunnde hito wo nikumazu) Condemn the crime, not the person.

I believe the proper translation is: Don't hate the playa, hate the game.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@taro67: I guess we will disagree without being completely disagreeable. I believe we both agree on some points but concerning the teen we seem to slightly disagree. I would rather the 24-year-old interact with the teen as part of the punishment. It seems you would rather have the 24-year-old do some sort of punishment then out of "goodwill" make contact with the 13 year old later if the 24 year old is truly sincere. If the 24 year old was forced to do community service what would you recommend?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am fully aware, and made it clear, where the limits of my claims and agreement are. You took a statement of having the right to disrespect the military as a whole and translated it to "Should be angry at every student in their kid's school".

If you are looking for degrees of personal bias in translation (because, much like anything having to do with humans, it is IMPOSSIBLE to eliminate all traces of it), perhaps you should consider your interpretations as well as my statements.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

RealJapan Nov. 13, 2012 - 01:20PM JST

Yes, we are agreeable. Don't you understand my argument about the sincerity of forced contact with the teenager? The sincerity of the contact means a lot more than the contact itself.

As for community service, two-fold; one that seems like real punishment like cleaning the streets for a week in public view. After that, something that interacts with the population in a helpful way (like helping old ladies make anti-Osprey signs...jk).

What are your ideas?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The airman shouldve been whisked out the country and all knowledge of his existence denied, all involvement of an american service person in alleged incident denied, whole furore dragged across the coals as an attempt to further discredit the american military in Japan. Family paraded in front of the media and made to apologise to the american people while admitting that in a drunken rage the father smashed the TV because the son wouldnt let him change channel, going on to slap the boy and sending him to bed. Son opens bedroom window to have a smoke n curse his mother for being out cavorting with american servicemen and not protecting him from his dads tempers. Boy sees foreigner lying on the road below in a drunken stupor...Boy has Eureka moment and calls cops n media. kerrrchiiing!

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Very, very few of the 50,000 US military men and women in Japan misbehave or commit crimes. But when they do, anti-American bias and sentiment usually emerges.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Good

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@taro67: I can agree with the street cleaning. No problem there. I would probably recommend that the teen comes up with a least of three (3) suggestions that the 24-year-old can do. Something related to nature, perhaps, or helping to 1) clean, 2) cook, or 3) lift groceries or go to the store for old ladies. It can be communicated directly in Japanese so that the 24-year-old takes it serious. What do you think?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I agree with all who already said it. Show respect to people in Okinawa and they will respect you back. Two years I was there and never had one issue. Even when drinking I was smart enough when to stop, head back to base and avoid making myself, or my fellow service members look like idiots. Glad to see he apologized even if it was forced or to try and make nice. Matters not. Its a start

1 ( +2 / -1 )

RealJapan Nov. 13, 2012 - 01:55PM JST

We have no issues between us. I would add a review afterward (sure this would be standard procedure) to ensure that this somewhat embarrassing punishment does not cause the 24-yo to despise Japanese and hold a grudge before reinstating him to duty (if the military doesn't punish him further).

The sign of good management is the ability to turn a bad experience into a positive simply by how quickly and effectively the problem is handled. The US military seems to think that being defensive is the best course sometimes. It shows a lack of adequate skills IMO.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@taro67: I am not sure if the Japanese court and police would listen to us but it seems that you and I from different countries and cultures have found a solution! Good to do so between friends! I hope the situation between the teen and 24-year-old comes to a positive conclusion. Too much stress in the world.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

RealJapan Nov. 13, 2012 - 02:20PM JST

Now we are in complete agreement. Thank you for the conversation. I will remember it in case we ever disagree in the future so that I do not become disagreeable to you.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sounds good! I am not online much but will be happy to communicate with you even if we disagree.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

cabadajeNov. 13, 2012 - 01:22PM JST

I am fully aware, and made it clear, where the limits of my claims and agreement are. You took a statement of having the right to disrespect the military as a whole and translated it to "Should be angry at every student in their kid's school".

Who the hell are you talking to and what are you responding to?

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Well, it's a start. Not the end, but a start. Hopefully everyone can move forward from here, the family and the boy in particular are not too traumatized by the incident, and the US soldier gets the punishment he deserves.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Out of curiosity.... Separating events... Not counting all the publicity. But what would happen if instead of a US military man - all the same circumstances ... It was a Japanese company man? He would offer apologies, wouldn't he? What would be his punishment in court, if there is one? What about jail time? Reimbursements (bribe/compisation)?

I understand that an example will be made of the US military man. But it should be a separate item to why he is at court - for fairness.

I am sure for breaking curfew, he is not getting away with that either. This man used unwise judgements in his evening out. It snowballed into a life changing event for many because of his choices.

I think each item should be evaluated and taken care of individually. To condense the entire snowball would destroy this man as well as those he is affiliated with - Japanese and American.

-in my opinion-

1 ( +2 / -1 )

taro67

...if the man really wanted to make amends after his punishment and reached out to the boy, it would certainly show sincerity on his behalf and would be a positive step...if the boy agreed. If done as part of the punishment, sincerity would not be assured.

Assuming you're Japanese you know that the act of the apology is what is expected and valued in Japan, not the motivation behind it or its sincerity. Furthermore, I don't think sincerity is/was a factor for the family in regards to the several thousand dollars in "gomennasai money" that the Airman has already undoubtedly paid to them as part of his apology.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

ch1n4Sailor I agree with what you’re saying in general, unfortunately British service men and woman are also dyeing in Afghanistan and other places protecting lots of people, and I am truly grateful for that. But you must remember respect is earned rather than expected, and when someone is in a foreign country they are ambassador of there own country and should behave in an exemplary manor, the three service men who have not only violated there curfew have also violated a lady and a small boy, these service men have now cast a dark shadow over the rest of you outstanding service men and woman, I just hope they get there appropriate punishment. This way hopefully relations between the locals and service people can carry on in a pleasant manor.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

MesIba7Nov. 13, 2012 - 03:11PM JST

Out of curiosity.... Separating events... Not counting all the publicity. But what would happen if instead of a US military man - all the same circumstances ... It was a Japanese company man? He would offer apologies, wouldn't he? What would be his punishment in court, if there is one? What about jail time? Reimbursements (bribe/compisation)?

Nothing would have been in the news for sure, and likely settled by settlement (money, but not bribe or compensation, those have different meanings). There was no injuries or loss of life, so it would normally be treated as entirely a civil matter UNLESS the victim requested it. Here it's treated as a criminal case regardless of the victim.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

I think the real bad point in this is that he actually entered someone else s home. What would you do if a random person suddenly entered your home a slapped your kid about?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

He will get a light sentence...they're just dragging this on and on to gain more media attention. He already said "Gomen nasai" which just reduced whatever sentence he would have gotten by half. He'll be home by Christmas!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Dragging this on? Hardly, it's only been what a couple of weeks? Japanese "justice" typically takes months to even come to a first hearing.

This one is moving at light speed by comparison and because of the apology, and (bribe) compensation money being forked over, the dude will likely get a light sentence.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why people think he will get off easy is beyond me. Regardless of if he goes to Japanese prison or not, he will still be dishonorably discharged from the military. He will be lucky if Mc Donalds will even hire him, not to mention he wont be able to use any of that GI Bill money to go to school, and those are just a couple of the things he will deal with. That doesnt seem "easy" to me.

No, it's not easy, but had he pulled the same stunt in the wrong part of the US, even without actually assaulting a family member, he could have been shot and killed by an enraged homeowner. Legally.

Here we have people fretting over whether his punishment might be so harsh that he develops disdain for the Japanese: "I would add a review afterward (sure this would be standard procedure) to ensure that this somewhat embarrassing punishment does not cause the 24-yo to despise Japanese and hold a grudge before reinstating him to duty."

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

He could truly be sorry. Most adults WOULD feel sorry after breaking into some stranger's house and punching a 13-year-old in the face while drunk. Only a true a-hole would fake contrition for something like that. I wonder if he performed a dogeza (correctly or not)? The man faces a bit more than just the charge of punching the kid:

Breaking and Entering Trespassing Assault and Battery
2 ( +2 / -0 )

What Iam trying to understand is when we lived in Germany near several large bases of US army and airforce there was rarelly any reports of bad behaviour maybe a bit drunkness but never rape and certainly not beating up children.

Do the US personnel stationed in Japan have a different attitude to the local Japanese than their colleagues in Germany? Seems like they have a dillision of superiority especially to women..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You probably had no rape reports because Germany has legal prostitution. (At least they did in Kiel when I was there in '84.) Guys can "get their fix" without resorting to violence and without worrying about being arrested.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

tinky1Nov. 13, 2012 - 10:47PM JST

What Iam trying to understand is when we lived in Germany near several large bases of US army and airforce there was rarelly any reports of bad behaviour maybe a bit drunkness but never rape and certainly not beating up children.

Do the US personnel stationed in Japan have a different attitude to the local Japanese than their colleagues in Germany? Seems like they have a dillision of superiority especially to women.

No, it's actually the fact that Japanese media, politicians, and even cops will jump on any opportunity to "legally" attack soldiers. The crime rates are actually impressively low, probably lower than germany (but the local sources don't discriminate soldiers into their own category like Okinawans do, so can't really tell), but the crime publication rate is far higher (something like 1000 times more soldier news articles per crime than Okinawan news)

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

First that is good to hear that solider has finally taken responsiblity. That is the first step

next it is the right of Japanese and Japan to live their life as they wish in their own country and to feel about others any way they wish. The modern trend of "ultra liberal" media and pundits to play the racism card at any excuse is just sad and boring. We are all different and that is good. We all have the right to choose how we personally feel about those differences and no law or legalist or spokesperson for whatever side of thought can make us think differently thanks goodness for the differences.

I hope the solider gets a good long sentence as a message that acting badly under alcohol is no excuse in any country.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

With all of the sex scandals happening to senior US military (ex-military in Patraeus' case) officers, perhaps the problem begins at the top and not with these young servicemen. The fish rots from the head. How can enlisted men be expected to act differently than their commanders?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Okay, sure. It's all the Okinawans' fault. Does that make you feel better? I suppose its all the fault of the Iraqis and Afghans, too. And, of course, all the problems America has with China is all China's fault. Poor America, it is so pure and totally misunderstood around the world. I see a pattern here.

I never said it was all the Okinawan's fault. I also never tried to tie the motivations of any country to their race. That's something YOU came up with all on your own. Racist.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

With all of the sex scandals happening to senior US military (ex-military in Patraeus' case) officers, perhaps the problem begins at the top and not with these young servicemen. The fish rots from the head. How can enlisted men be expected to act differently than their commanders?

Sooo.... ex Army generals having extra-marital affairs cause naval enlisted men to get drunk, break into houses, and punch teenagers? Maybe it's just me, but your logic seems... to not exist.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Correction: Air Force enlisted men, not naval enlisted men. (Though you could throw their actions into the same sentence to point out the horrible lack of logic conveyed in taro's comments. Consensual sex - even in the case of extra-marital affairs - is not the same as rape or assault.)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Breaking and Entering Trespassing Assault and Battery

You also forgot, destruction of private property; fleeing the scene of a crime; and these are just on the Japanese side and there actually could be more depending upon how much or how badly the prosecutors want his butt.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well he didn't do TOO much fleeing once he fell two and a half stories. He was still at the scene of the breaking and entering when they picked him up to take him to the hospital. Yeah, I did forget destruction of private property. Thanks.

I want to point out to the Japanese here that there's a difference in mindset when it comes to Americans and "the apology". Even if they've been in Japan for years and are told by their lawyers that it's likely to happen, Americans do not expect to be forgiven by simply displaying obvious contrition and apologizing profusely. Years of upbringing in the States has ingrained in them the concept that if a crime was committed by them and they are caught, there WILL be a trial regardless of the amount of apologizing or "apology money" (in the States it's called a "bribe") that is proffered. So when an American apologizes for committing a crime in Japan, yeah he may HOPE he gets a break, but he doesn't really expect it to happen. It has nothing to do with racism - it's just the way we're brought up. You do the crime, you do the time (in jail).

1 ( +2 / -1 )

>Racist.

I said nothing about race, only nationality. But it is interesting that race came to your mind. Perhaps you are projecting your own feelings in your response. And, quite frankly, you seem better than that on the whole.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

You get drunk, enter my house and assault my son, the least of your worries would be the police.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

AiserX

It's a grown man, most likely well built hitting a 13 year old in the face while drunk

whoa whoa whoa sir. He is Air Force, which means that he is about as well built as a double whopper with cheese value meal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

of course american servicemen who commit crimes in their host countries should be subject to the law of that land in addition to american military law. but the sentence should be the same as what a native would get for committing the same crime. don't jack up the punishment because he is a foreigner.but i really don't understand why do we still need to be in japan? isn't it time we let them take care of their own security issues?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The guy is an idiot plain and simple. If I were his parents, I would be wanting a lot more in compensation. This is their son (a 13 year old child) hit by an adult. This is no mistake and he should pay for his crime for the a minimum of 10 years. Now saying that, I am an American living here and what he did effected my life (combined by the rapes). I was treated with so much anger for just being here ( a location on Okinawa) that I cannot even put it into words. If I would of stayed put for 1 minute longer, I would have been assaulted. Did I have ANYTHING to do with these idiots? No! So they put my life in danger. If I had it my way, I would lock the two men who raped the woman up for their lifetimes (a life for a life) with no chance of parole in a Japanese prison and broadcast it worldwide. As for the idiot who punched the kid, he should be put in a Japanese jail for 10 years minimum. These idiots just don't get it. I bet they planned it in Texas prior to even leaving for their TDY. The Okinawans have a right to be angry - I would love to see what types of stats they have on their own idiots though that go unreported as the Okinawan teen who murdered the American teen over a girl. I do not like to be labeled by the color of my skin or where I am from so that does anger my but flippin idiots fueled the fire in this case. What is wrong with people? They travel overseas and lose their minds.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As this person who supposedly hit a 13 year old boy did a bad thing it makes me sick that the obviously biased sensationalist media hypes this non-story up into a frenzy.

"FYI: I, american living in tokyo, was verbally and physically assaulted by a japanese middleaged man not 2 weeks ago outside of my home and when I reported this to the Japanese police, they asked a few questions before saying "sorry we can't do anything now. let us know if he does it again." basically, a typical "shoganai" answer.

Let's try to think about situations from both sides before we go and judge."

This exact thing has happened to me randomly several times in japan by japanese males over the years while minding my own business.

Yet the world lets japan get away with the undeserving self anointed moniker of global victim.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I know some are very angry, but I sincerely hope they do not blame all Americans or all of our service members for this criminal's behavior. Believe me, as a mom, I am totally outraged by what he did. The fact that he represents my country as a serviceman makes me sick. Burglary? Hitting a child in the process? Both of those actions are inexcusable. If anything, I have to commend the parents for being so calm. If it had been my child, and that criminal came before me, there is better than a good chance I would have attacked him in a murderous rage. Then again, if it had been me, I would have beaten him just for breaking into my house.

My thoughts are with the family, and I hope they can find peace of mind and move on towards a happy future.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm truly sorry for the US service members actions as well as those who have committee the same and worse in the past. These events should never happen in any country service members are stationed. Although it is understandable and justifiable that the citizens and family view service members in a bad light with these occurrences, I hope that you might have room for those who are grateful and honored for the opportunity to learn from and know your beautiful country and culture. Although no nation and people are perfect, I hope that you may be accepting of those who wish to befriend and know you.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Get over it, Japan. There are relatively far more serious crimes committed every single day in Okinawa by Japanese, and few except the most serious crimes ever make the same splash in the media as incidents involving the American military.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

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