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2 U.S.sailors convicted in gang rape case in Okinawa

on Mar 07, 2013 (1359 reads)

On March 1st, two U.S. Navy sailors were found guilty of raping a woman in Okinawa on 16 October 2012 and sentenced 9 and 10 years in prison in Naha District Court.

The incident provoked fresh wave of protests in Okinawa. Although a curfew was imposed on all U.S.soldiers by the U.S.military, a lot of accidents and crimes were caused during the curfew, moreover ten soldiers and civilian workers were arrested during about four months after the curfew. These incidents cast doubt on the effectiveness of this preventive measure.

Japanese Authorities' jurisdiction over crimes committed by American soldiers are limited, because of the U.S.-Japan-Status-of-Forces Agreement. This may lead American soldiers to feel be protected by the U.S.government, even if they commit crimes. In fact, the defendant who was sentenced to nine years said that he was scheduled to be transferred to Guam, so he thought he would not be accused of rape. His testimony reflects how seriously the U.S.soldiers consider crimes. Unless the Japanese government reconsiders the U.S.-japan-Status-of -Force Agreement, the Okinawa people will never be released from fear of crimes.

For more details, see:
2 U.S. navy sailors convicted in Okinawa rape<Asahi Weekly>
Loose curfew fails to keep U.S. service members in check< Asahi Weekly>
AJWRC Protests in Okinawa

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