"US forces cause outrage in Okinawa - again"

In the wake of recent press reports about the junior high school student allegedly raped by a US marine, there have been many angry foreign residents of Japan complaining that the Japanese media are making this into a bigger deal than it is; that rapes occur every day and that the media would not respond as zealously should it have been a Japanese national accused of this crime. There have been cries that this type of media reaction ultimately boils down to xenophobia and they also fail to forget the “innocent until proven guilty” law.

However, although it can be said that the Japanese media harangue suspects before they are tried, many forget that this US military rape issue is on a wider scale. Firstly, there are political implications – the Okinawan officials have voiced their anger and Prime Minister Fukuda, appearing before a Diet committee Tuesday, described the incident as “unforgivable.” For anti-base Okinawans, such incidents are important in the campaign to get Tokyo either to ask the US to leave, or get more compensation for carrying the military burden: 70% of US military personnel in Japan are in Okinawa.

The issue is also historical. This new case has rekindled memories of the 1995 gang rape of a 12-year-old Okinawa girl by three US servicemen, an incident that triggered mass resentment against the US military presence in Okinawa. The problem was that the US military was not made by law to hand over the suspected rapist to Japanese authorities and the struggle that the Japanese police faced in the handover caused outrage from Japan. The US marines refused to handover rape suspects unless they are indicted and this refusal could be seen time and time again through the many rape cases that Okinawa has faced throughout the years and gives the impression that the US forces would overtly protect their troops regardless of morals. Similarly, when a US army helicopter crashed in to Okinawa International University a few years ago, local police were not allowed to be involved in the investigation.

This time, the US forces have announced that a task force will review and reinforce its sexual harassment and assault prevention programs but cleaning up the reputation of the US forces in Japan will be near impossible should a repetition of cases like these continue.



Other posts by Anna:

Comments

As a father and former-Marine (stationed in Okinawa for 4-years and a Kansai/Kanto resident civilian for 12-years), I find the Staff Sergeant's actions VERY unbecoming of a U.S. Marine and as a man. My Japanese wife and I planned to purchase property in Okinawa but now that is on hold.

The Japanese media will continue to have a field day with this. As rightly stated, this is fuel for those that demand the removal of US Forces Japan personnel and bases, various forms of compensation from the US and Japanese governments, and/or a revision of the Status of Forces Agreement.

Various English language newspapers and blogs in Japan have blasted the "accused" while many Japanese language blogs have blasted the young girl for being out late and leaving with an adult strange; demanded to know why the victim's parent(s) did not do a better job of parenting; and certain politicians in Okinawa for using the incident to further their political agenda. Very bad press on both sides.

It does not the matter if the girl was naive, she is a victim. Her parent(s) lacking certain parenting skills? Maybe but their daughter is still a victim. The politicians? Well, stop victimizing the victim. Where are the women's rights groups when women in Japan need help dealing discrimination, sexual harassment, and mizushobai? Come on, stop picking your battles. Help the young girl and her parents without throwing politics into the mix.

Lastly, those that live on and around the military bases know that A VERY SMALL percentage of USFJ military and dependents DO NOT get into trouble, especially when it comes to serious crimes. If you compare the latest incidents to what is reported and to Japan as a whole, you will find that the US military has a pretty good track record of staying out of trouble. And yes, I tracked all incidents involving USFJ and USFK. Do not allow the foolishness of a few individuals to cast a bad light on approximately 50,000 US service men and women (and their dependents). The US military has provided a service (freedom, democracy, protection) that many take for granted.

Remember to be fair in reporting! Punish the guilty but do not "smear" the rest of the U.S. military (and their dependents) or foreigners with a broad stroke!

Regards,

AE

-------------------

Information on the USFJ (Approximate number as of October 2007):

U.S. DoD Personnel in Japan
Army 2,386
Marine Corps 15,433
Navy 5,991 (less US Navy 7th Fleet)
Air Force 12,483
Total Military (Ashore) 36,293

US Army:
U.S. civilian personnel 761
Family members 3,958

US Marine Corps:
U.S. civilian personnel 626
Family member 9,732

US Navy:
U.S. civilian personnel 1,142
Family member 7,488

US Navy 7th Fleet:
Military personnel 12,141
Family members 6,324

US Air Force:
U.S. civilian personnel 771
Family members 19,667

Department of Defense Facts:

80% of military members are younger than 35
Just over half of military members are married
Almost half of military population is 25 years old or younger
Women comprise nearly 15% of the military force
More than 92% of enlisted members have a high school diploma and/or some college experience
Typical spouse age: 26-34 years
70% of spouses are 35 years old or younger

Source: http://www.usfj.mil/

THE ZEIT GIST
[LIFE IN JAPAN]
U.S. military crime: SOFA so good?
MICHAEL HASSETT
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20080226zg.html

****THIS DATA IS REPORTED FROM AND CREDITED TO THE ABOVE SOURCE****

****Moderator: Please delete below text if this does not meet posting guidelines.****

The stats offer some surprises in wake of the latest Okinawa rape claim

On Friday night, Aug. 18, 2006, at a third-story apartment within a gated community outside Atlanta, Ga., 31-year-old Kendrick Ledet sat contemplating life. And death.

Ledet was familiar with various forms of high-tech weaponry — particularly the semi-automatic M-16 rifle — but on this day he decided to go low-tech, departing from us slowly by slicing through the arteries in his arms with a knife.

Moments earlier, this terribly troubled soul had forcefully struck a coworker in the head before strangling her with his forearm. And that was preceded by a violent sexual assault. She was only 22 years old, a student studying marketing at a nearby university.

Three years before the parents of Lauren Cooper happened upon this awful scene inside their daughter's apartment, the perpetrator of this crime, Ledet, was among us here in Japan.

Well, not exactly among us, since he was doing hard labor inside a Japanese prison. From 1996 to 2003 Ledet resided in a Yokosuka jail, where he spent many of his waking hours assembling cell phones and making auto parts for Mazdas and Nissans.

And before that? Well, if you've been in Japan for a while, you probably know the rest of the sordid story: In September 1995, Ledet and two of his buddies from Camp Hanson on Okinawa decided to rent a van, kidnap a 12-year-old Japanese girl, force duct tape over her mouth, bind her hands and rape her repeatedly.

Disgusted? I was. The memory of this atrocious crime came flooding back to me upon hearing of the latest charge of rape against yet another U.S. serviceman. Moreover, it brought back to mind a remarkable claim I came across while reading about the shift of many U.S. forces to Guam: The assertion that members of the U.S. military are four times less likely than a Japanese citizen to commit a crime on the island of Okinawa.

Skeptical? I was. Let's look at the numbers and see what they really tell us.

First, we need to know how many Japanese and non-Japanese we have in this country, and how many tourists are passing through. In 2006, Japan had a total population of 127.77 million people. Some 2.08 million of those were registered foreigners, and 51,321 of those registered foreigners were U.S. citizens not covered under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between Japan and the U.S.

A SOFA clarifies the terms under which a foreign military is allowed to operate in another country, and covers service members, their dependents and certain civilian workers. In October 2006, the American military community in Japan consisted of 96,790 SOFA-covered individuals.

During the same year, Japan welcomed a little more than 4.98 million foreign tourists, and 490,472 of those were from the U.S.

Now let's see how many arrests we had that year. The National Police Agency reports 384,250 for penal code offenses, such as murder, bodily injury, bicycle theft and the like. Of these arrests, 14,418 were of non-Japanese, 211 of which were U.S. citizens not covered by the SOFA and 120 of which were SOFA-covered individuals. Illegal immigrants were responsible for 13.2 percent of penal code offenses by non-Japanese.

In addition to penal code offenses, there were 83,147 arrests for special law violations. Non-Japanese accounted for 12,303 of these, 84 of which were U.S. citizens not covered by the SOFA and 25 of which were SOFA-covered individuals.

What's a "special law violation"? Basically it's a breach of a certain established law, such as the Stimulants Control Law, Firearms and Swords Control Law, or even the Horse Racing Law.

Now, before we continue, take note that here in Japan an arrest indicates that a person was taken into custody by police. It does not indicate whether the case was prosecuted in court or whether the suspect was convicted.

A little math gives us an arrest rate of 0.351 percent for Japanese in Japan. For non-Japanese here — tourists and registered residents, excluding illegal immigrants and SOFA-covered individuals — the arrest rate would be a little lower at 0.326 percent, assuming that illegal immigrants were also responsible for 13.2 percent of special law violations. And if we were to deem arrests of tourists to be negligible, the rate for registered non-Japanese residents would surge to around 1.115 percent.

For U.S. tourists and U.S. citizen residents of Japan not covered by the SOFA, the arrest rate would be 0.054 percent. And if we were to assume arrests of U.S. tourists to be negligible, the arrest rate for U.S. citizens not covered by the SOFA would increase to 0.575 percent.

A strong argument can be made against the inclusion of transgressions of the Immigration Control Law and the Alien Registration Law, which may inflate arrest numbers of non-Japanese. But Japanese can and do violate these laws. In 2006, of the 35 arrests for violations to the Alien Registration Law, eight of those arrests were of Japanese.

Moreover, once we move down this path of discounting particular transgressions, we open up a giant can of worms because certain other laws — the Public Elections Law, for instance — could be considered to be inherently biased against Japanese.

The rates we have calculated so far are for the entire Japanese archipelago. However, approximately 75 percent of the total land area exclusively used by U.S. forces in Japan is located in Okinawa. So let's narrow our focus to Okinawa Prefecture.

In 2006, the Okinawan islands had a population of 1,368,000 people, 6,808 of which were registered foreign residents not covered by the SOFA. In 2006, there were 4,188 arrests for penal code offenses and 605 arrests for special law violations. Foreigners not covered by the SOFA were responsible for 44 of these penal code offenses, and we can use partially reported figures to estimate that this group committed around 22 special law violations.

Doing the math gives us an arrest rate of 0.342 percent for Japanese in Okinawa, a bit lower than the rate for the entire country.

Now let's turn to the U.S. military in Okinawa. There are about 42,570 SOFA-covered Americans living in the prefecture. In 2006, 63 SOFA-covered individuals were arrested for penal code offenses. Eleven arrests for special law violations can be estimated. A little math using these numbers gives us an arrest rate of 0.174 percent, about half that of Japanese in Okinawa (0.342) and the entire country (0.351).

Shocked? I am! It's particularly surprising when you consider that almost half the U.S. military population is 25 years old or younger. In fact, 80 percent of U.S. service members are younger than 35. And men comprise nearly 85 percent of the U.S. military force.

If we were to attribute 80 percent of arrests of Japanese in Okinawa to men and women aged 15 to 64, a group that makes up 65.1 percent of the prefecture, the arrest rate among Japanese in this age bracket in Okinawa would rise to 0.420 percent. In fact, we would have to attribute 67 percent of arrests in Okinawa to those under the age of 15 and over the age of 64 before the arrest rate of Japanese in the 15-to-64 age bracket would fall below that of SOFA-covered individuals in the area. Shocking indeed!

Let's not pretend, though, that living among foreigners trained to kill is Disney in fatigues. On-base arrest data is not released. Environmental issues and land-use concerns abound. And noise has always been a problem.

However, there were no arrests in Japan of SOFA-covered individuals for rape or sexual assault in 2006, even though the NPA did arrest 1,094 Japanese for rape and another 4,733 for sexual offenses — that's nearly 16 a day.

Many feel that society would be great if we had no need for military forces, but as long as governments don't feel the same way the fact remains that we have to put them somewhere. All of which raises the question: Is it hypocritical to give such disproportionate media exposure to crimes committed by U.S. service members when the data shows that their adherence to our laws apparently exceeds our own?

Questions about data, calculations and sources used in this article can be directed to the author at mshassett@gol.com. Send comments on this issue to community@japantimes.co.jp
The Japan Times: Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2008
(C) All rights reserved

I think, the problem has been blown out of proportion. It is horrible that a 38-year old is even accused of doing such a thing. And yes, I am also asking where were the parents of the girl etc.
The behavior of the US military memmbers here on Okinawa is not great at all. I have, however, noticed that most events are alcohl related and often occur at night. So the drinking and the time of day play a roll.
Here we are, I am a family member - female in my 40's - and restricted from going anywhere at anytime, but the military installations on the island.... Last weekend my husband received a call to make sure he knew that nobody can visit us in our home (we live off base), but we are allowed to visit anyone on base...
So how about our rights as free people - I mean the family members, not the service members. I had to mail a package for my aunts birthday today and because I can not go to a japanese Post office, I had to pay a lot more... Is that fair and whom does that help?? I feel like a child that is being punished by a parent and I am a little old for that. Also what does this teach my teenage son - freedom???
So if people can not behave at night , restrict the night!!! Also my okinawan friends (I can use the telephone) are not so mad as the media describes it - they do not put a collective blame on "us" - but service members that do things like that and then they usually say, there are plenty okinawans that do bad things like that too. They also claim that a lot of the things seen on the media is put out by people from Mainland Japan and the government....
So how about my civil liberties and maybe restrictions for bar, clubs and a daylight only timelimit!!!!!!

The US should be ordered out of Okinawa immediately! World War 2 is over! It is no secret that the US Marine Corps is a babysitting service for garbage that would otherwise be in jail if still in the US. Japan can defend itself militarily and does not need the US. Tell them to leave immediately!

As a victim of rape myself, I am outraged, and this is putting it mildly. Do any of the accused have records of rape, etc., against women and/or of being pedophiles? Doesn't the military do background checks? And, if so, why are these individuals admitted into the military? I know don't want anyone like that "defending" me! I hope the perp(s) are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law! How is it that pedophiles are allowed into the military in the first place?!?!

What was a 38 year old man thinking? Why and how did the girl get on his bike, into his house and into his car? Was she forced? Did she ask for a bike ride? Didn't she have any education from her parents, family and/or school about how to act and react in such situations? What was she doing out on the street, alone? The man has admitted to forcing himself on her (kiss and touching privates) - common sense indicates what his intentions were. I don't believe for one second that he didn't rape her - I believe the girl.

Whatever - she is a victim. Hopefully she will get the counseling and care she needs and be a survivor and a credit to her community, and not go up to become a problem and/or have problems for the rest of her life.

The perp(s) should be given a dishonorable discharge with no veteran benefits and forced to register as a sex offender for the rest of it's - I'm sorry 'his' life.

I disagree with the total lockdown. So many people are being victimized and inconvenienced because of this.

I am further upset for the following reasons: My daugher left the States for Okinawa this last Saturday for a week long visit with her friend who is in the Air Force only to learn upon arrival that she would have to spend her vacation on lockdown.

She (we) have worked hard and saved for over a year so she could visit Japan. She was so looking forward to this visit and photographing all the beautiful things Japan has to offer, experiencing the lifestyles, culture and, of course, being a woman - shopping. Instead she gets to leave on the 2nd, having wasted a great deal of money and time.

It's heartbreaking that a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has to be voided and wasted because of the actions of a few idiots.

We won't be making any plans to visit Japan again.

Why is there a cover up about the Army rape case? There is no information released about it at all! Just another made up story.

What an earth are you talking about? A cover up? This story has been all over the place, where have you been? Would Condy apologize over a made up story?

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN2739351020080227

I'm stumped. Unless... You are US military on a camp in a different colony listening only to forces news and knitting scarves for the children of Leader Bush in your spare time. That would explain it.

"The problem was that the US military was not made by law to hand over the suspected rapist to Japanese authorities and the struggle that the Japanese police faced in the handover caused outrage from Japan. The US marines refused to handover rape suspects unless they are indicted and this refusal could be seen time and time again through the many rape cases that Okinawa has faced throughout the years and gives the impression that the US forces would overtly protect their troops regardless of morals."

The reason for the actions in the above quote are simple. They were agreed upon in the orginal SOFA agreement. SOFA's are put in place to protect the rights of the U.S. Accused/suspects. In Japan, a suspect (Non SOFA) is placed in a holding cell and interogated non stop for hours, even days until they break and are finally willing to sign any confession the NPA wants. Thats the point to get a forced confession. Many Japanese are in jail right now for crimes they didn't commit because of this tactic. Under SOFA, when a US Military is accused of a crime the base would (in the past) hold the person on base until the Japanese Police out in town accumilated enough evidence to formally charge that person with a crime. The suspect can be interviewed, questioned, or whatever as many times as the Japanese Police want. But see, on base, the US will not allow the Police to metally torture the accused, and force a confession. Thats why they complain, they want to take the suspect to their jail so they can violate his basic human rights. By the way, this form of police procredure is illegal under even the Japanese Constitution, it's just that no one is brave enough to challenge it. Though now the court system is looking at it, since so many innocents are in Jail. The reason why the public is outraged, is because the Japanese government does not explain this procedure under SOFA THEY SIGNED AND AGREED TO. Why? becuase it would alert the populace about how the police have been violating the Japanese rights all these years. This all changed after the 1995 rape incident. The US aggreed to the change under dirress. Under the Japnese interpretation, and pervertion of their view of their own constitution, all suspects are guilty until YOU the suspect can prove your innocence.

I do not believe that the Japanese police have ever been accused of the kind of crimes that have made U.S. military prisons a talking point around the world.
America has taken citizens of other countries and imprisoned them without charge or legal access for years at a time, sanctioned extrajudicial killings and implemented torture, as well as denying every human right there is along the way.
These rapists and child molestors should be thankful that they are facing Japanese justice and not American imperialist reciprocity.
If the families of the servicemen living there feel somehow offended by the situation they should consider the atomic holocaust unleashed on Japan in the recent past and the fact that they have no right to be there at all.

As a follow-up to my previous post, a few eye-opening statistics...

"According to police testimony in the prefectural assembly earlier this month, since 1995, 40 U.S. service members have been involved in 29 incidents of violent crime, including 32 marines involved in 22 incidents.

During the same period, 17 U.S. service members were involved in 14 incidents of violence toward women, and 10 of those involved in eight incidents were marines. There are currently about 45,000 Americans in Okinawa covered by the Status of Forces Agreement, including roughly 23,000 service members and their families.

Since 1995, 864 U.S. forces-related individuals have been involved in 800 incidents of violent and nonviolent crimes, police said. Many of these were traffic violations.

By contrast, since 1998, there have been 1,886 serious crimes, including murder, armed robbery, rape and arson, committed by Okinawans. The prefecture's population is about 1.36 million."

"According to the U.S., there were 22,772 service members in Okinawa as of the end of January, as well as 2,308 military-related civilians and 19,883 family members, for a total of 44,963. Of these, 10,748, or 24 percent, were living off base."

Source: Eric Johnston, Japan Times (http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20080301f1.html)

"In 2006, the Okinawan islands had a population of 1,368,000 people, 6,808 of which were registered foreign residents not covered by the SOFA. In 2006, there were 4,188 arrests for penal code offenses and 605 arrests for special law violations. Foreigners not covered by the SOFA were responsible for 44 of these penal code offenses, and we can use partially reported figures to estimate that this group committed around 22 special law violations.

Doing the math gives us an arrest rate of 0.342 percent for Japanese in Okinawa, a bit lower than the rate for the entire country.

Now let's turn to the U.S. military in Okinawa. There are about 42,570 SOFA-covered Americans living in the prefecture. In 2006, 63 SOFA-covered individuals were arrested for penal code offenses. Eleven arrests for special law violations can be estimated. A little math using these numbers gives us an arrest rate of 0.174 percent, about half that of Japanese in Okinawa (0.342) and the entire country (0.351).

Shocked? I am! It's particularly surprising when you consider that almost half the U.S. military population is 25 years old or younger. In fact, 80 percent of U.S. service members are younger than 35. And men comprise nearly 85 percent of the U.S. military force.

If we were to attribute 80 percent of arrests of Japanese in Okinawa to men and women aged 15 to 64, a group that makes up 65.1 percent of the prefecture, the arrest rate among Japanese in this age bracket in Okinawa would rise to 0.420 percent. In fact, we would have to attribute 67 percent of arrests in Okinawa to those under the age of 15 and over the age of 64 before the arrest rate of Japanese in the 15-to-64 age bracket would fall below that of SOFA-covered individuals in the area. Shocking indeed!"

Source: MICHAEL HASSETT, Japan Times (http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fl20080226zg.html)

A very short article explaining that the girl did not want to press charges against the accused:

Japan Times article: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20080301a3.html

Mainichi Shimbun article: http://mdn.mainichi.jp/national/news/20080229p2a00m0na030000c.html

Although charges have been dropped, the US Marine Corps will continue their investigation of the previously accused and subsequently punish him under various articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (which the previously accused rightly deserves).

Mainichi Shimbun article: http://mdn.mainichi.jp/national/news/20080301p2a00m0na011000c.html

Yes, I don`t approve the actions of that 38 year old man towards so called young 14 year old girl. But what makes me angry is that howcome Okinawans (trying to be politically correct since they don`t like to be called "japanese", they are "okinawans" I guess from what they always say) instead of rushing into assumptions about americans look at their own side. What is that teenager girl was doing that late in that area? She is a teenager but her actions are definitely telling what she represents on herself. My cousin is her age and she would never go out that late and never talk to a stranger man. That 14 year old woman clearly was looking for something. That is why I want to say "how about educating your so called young 14 year old ones"? And we are on our side will make sure that that 38 year old gets what he deserves. It is obvious what was her goal and shame on her parents using their own child to get some benefits. And please stop blackmouthing americans. All we do here in Okinawa is to be nice to you and just because of some incidents you have no right to direct all your negative comments towards everybody.

you are blaming the victim.
that has to stop and that is what is standing in the way of complete women's rights and protection from sexual assault, be that a male or female victim.

you should be wary of blaming the victim in any way, shape or form.
you really have no clue of how bad that really is and what that means.

ONLY the rapists are responsible for the little girl being raped.
you are suggesting that in whatever way you said, she holds some responsibility.
the blame is with THE RAPISTS.

extremely ignorant and angering comment.

It is not your country. Any stat comparison does not do justice only a horrible excuse. Are you comparing the tots population crimes committed ratio to the amount of military crimes?
Regardless, all crimes by US on foreign soil are inexcusable. Why don't you get it?
Your red white and blue is overwhelmingly despised for all the historic evidence.
Do you mentally believe you serve or protect anything else besides an agenda to globally restraint foreign nations by force?
Must I remind you the blood of the natives cry out and in reality US is not you country?
Your arrogance and ignorance, I will hate your kind even after you pass away.

How can you be so ignorant? How can you blame the 14 yr old girl or any other rape victim? Are you saying she was asking for it? ('What is that teenager girl was doing that late in that area? She is a teenager but her actions are definitely telling what she represents on herself.') Asking to be attacked and forced to have sex? ('That 14 year old woman clearly was looking for something.') That she seduced the 38 yr old man? Then you say that your 14 yr old cousin wouldn't do the same? How bias, of course your sweet innocent young cousin wouldn't go around 'asking for it' she is a 14yr old girl, whereas the girl in question is a '14yr woman'. You make me sick.

And since you are making assumptions I will too….Obviously you are an American male who has probably been burned by a 'girl' in the past and think that we are all evil seductresses, even at the age of 14. There are many girls and boys having sex at a young ages, but it is a time when they do not fully understand the complications. I am sure that you have been attracted to 14 yr old girls and realized what a pervert you are and therefore instead of blaming yourself you blame the young girl. Maybe the one you like is your cousin...And why are you anonymous? Have you been convicted of raping young seductress children and therefore must hide your identity? And because no one is perfect I am sure the Americans in Okinawa are not just only being nice to the people.

But in the end the point is that you can't blame a 14 yr for getting raped when the attacker is old enough to know (he is 38!) what he is doing is wrong.

Summer,

It seems like Anonymous is just here to cause trouble. Here's an opposite knee-jerk post on another thread: http://www.japaninc.com/node/3025#comment-778. Two vastly different opinions on the same topic.

Just ignore him or her.

@ Moderator: Anonymous is most likely here to start flame wars judging by his/her two posts.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20080307a2.html

Man wrongly sent up for rape sues for redress

TOYAMA (Kyodo) A 40-year-old man who last year was cleared of charges of rape and attempted rape in a retrial ruling that said his confession was coerced demanded Thursday about ¥12.5 million in redress for the more than two years he spent in prison.

Hiroshi Yanagihara filed the demand with the Takaoka branch of the Toyama District Court, which will decide on the amount of compensation after assessing the level of his mental pain and the degree of negligence on the part of police, prosecutors and judges, his lawyer said.

Yanagihara was held for about 1,000 days in total between his arrest in April 2002 and his release on parole from prison in January 2005, according to the lawyer.

But in August 2006, another man who had been arrested in a separate case confessed to the crimes initially laid to Yanagihara, prompting prosecutors to request a retrial.

The ¥12.5 million represents the maximum amount of compensation payable under the 1950 criminal compensation law, which sets redress levels at between ¥1,000 and ¥12,500 per day of detention for defendants who are later cleared.

Yanagihara told reporters money would not put an end to his suffering. He said he is considering filing a separate damages suit against the central and local governments over his wrongful conviction under the state redress law.

In its retrial ruling in October, the district court rejected Yanagihara's defense demand for testimony from his interrogators to reveal how he had been forced to confess.

Yanagihara was arrested in the rape and attempted rape cases in 2002 in Himi, Toyama Prefecture. He was sentenced to three years in prison and served about two. Last November, the other man was sentenced to 25 years for sexually assaulting 14 teenage girls.

TOKYO, Japan (CNN) -- The U.S. military in Japan has charged a Marine with rape and other violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice in the alleged sexual assault of 14-year old girl in Okinawa.

A civic group member protests against Hadnott near the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo on February 13.

Staff Sgt. Tyrone Luther Hadnott, 38, has been charged with the rape of a child under 16, abusive sexual contact with a child, making a false official statement, adultery and kidnapping, the Marines said Friday.

No dates for the court-martial have been set.

In February, Japanese authorities released Hadnott after the girl dropped the allegations against him, but the Marine Corps conducted its own investigation to see if Hadnott violated codes of military justice. It held him at a Marine facility.

The rape accusation against Hadnott stirred memories of a brutal rape more than a decade ago and triggered outrage across Japan. Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda deplored as "unforgivable" the allegations against Hadnott.

The incident also led to tight restrictions, for a time, for American troops and their families at the U.S. base on Okinawa.

The U.S. military in Japan also formed a sexual assault prevention task force after the incident.

More than 40,000 U.S. troops are stationed in Japan, most of them on Okinawa. The troops were placed there under a security alliance after Japan was defeated in World War II and was renounced its right to a military.

The U.S. military presence has at times bred resentment among some Japanese, who have long complained about crime, noise and accidents. Anti-American sentiments boiled over in 1995 after three American servicemen kidnapped and gang-raped a 12-year-old Okinawan schoolgirl.

Two years ago, a U.S. civilian military employee was jailed for nine years for raping two women.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/04/25/japan.usmilitary/index.html

Very useful info !

No country should ever have trups ouside thier own borders,war is a brain
dead way of thinking in line with raping.

Japan remains in debt to the US rather than the millions of Koreans Chinese Malaysians and Burmese they enslaved rape imprison and murdered.
They rather the nasty sex perverts of America dehumanize with racial under-tone their teens; rather than acknowledge their past and get over their friendly occupation from the xenophobic Yankees.
When the Yankee rape they do so with authority, Japan - they feel that you owe them that.

Statistics on Crimes Committed
by US Troops in south Korea

Civil Network for a Peaceful Korea

Over 100,000 Cases of Crimes, Over 100,000 Victims
http://www.iacenter.org/Koreafiles/ktc-civilnetwork.htm
The US are the good guys are they. Wrong.
No one should ever blame the victim only the perpetrator is to blame.
Rape is an act of violence. No one wants to be raped.

The US Troops need to leave Japan Now, Especially the Navy and Marines. I was in the US Navy in Japan for many years and can tell you there is no real reason for them to be there. They are just taking money from the Japanese Government for the bases and ship maintenance.
They need to leave now before more murders and rapes occur. The quality of the people in the military has went way down since the late 90's which is when you see the murders and rapes increase.

Americans like to swear in friendship with Japan, but let's call a spade a spade : this is nothing short of occupation. Japan is a sovereign country and needs not any so-called protectors from the other side of the Pacific. Giving money from Japanese government to American side for "support facilities" merely looks out like feudal relationships vassal to senior.

Rape is horrible, no matter who commits this crime, military or civilian. It's even more horrible to hear that those who are paid to protect are doing such heinous things. Military cover ups are not uncommon. The organisations Laws are made to protect those who serve within. I won't continue with facts and figures, because any person with half a brain can find credible sources to answer questions, and verify my statements, however, let it be known, that during the early years after WW2 ended, the mass rapes that occurred during the first weeks of landing by Occupation Forces, were deliberately watered down, to prevent mass hysteria and anti-american sentiment among the Japanese people, so most of the information about crimes that occurred, is from word of mouth by the older folks who were living during that awful period in Earth's history, including the victims. I'm Australian, and my wife is Japanese, I have a very close relationship with her family, especially the older ones, and the horror stories they tell me, that were passed down over the generations, just breaks my heart. Being a western man, who speaks English and Japanese, and has lived in Japan for many years, sometimes I just wonder why some of my own country men committed such acts on girls as young as 10 years old!!... How can people decide to hurt one another.... especially the men who rape or abuse women and girls... May Jesus Christ give peace and comfort to all those affected by any crime of this nature. God Bless you all.

The main root of the problem is an american occupation of Japan. Call this "protection under agreement", "friendly alliance" or whatever else. Sweet tale for housewives. Japan as well as Republic of Korea are remote places for the USA to counter possible chinese or russian threats. Threats not for Japan or ROK, but for the USA itself. In this particular case japanese territory becomes a target zone for WMD of any of hostile sides. The second root is a low level of morale and discipline of those occupants. They feel themselves as "protectors of inferior race", "winners of WWII" and so on. That why they tend to behave carelessly and show clearly visible arrogance to locals.

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