"Okinawa rape case - guilty until proven innocent?"

Following the US navy rape case allegations in Okinawa, the Japanese media reported massively on the subject and the US navy were forced to labor extensively on damage control, employing curfews on their military personnel. Yet still, the damage done to the reputation of the bases and the negative views held by the Okinawan people have prompted for more calls for the US army to leave Japan. Even PM Fukuda stepped in, calling this incident “unforgivable.”

In a turn of course, the allegedly raped-girl has now dropped the charges and the marine has been released from detention. Of course, assumptions can be made about why she dropped the charge—i.e. a possible pay-off from the military?—but the media are not there to presume, they are there to report facts that the details being reported are only that the charges have been dropped. Yet the contrast in how this is being reported compared to prior to the charges being dropped is significant.

Due to the amount of interest and emotions felt by the Japanese people, the rape case was reported as fact and presumed to be true. Also, the historical nature of the incident and the memories stirred from similar cases in the past also caused the media to report it in such a way. It can also be said that even Fukuda also pre-supposed that the allegations were true, causing the media to respond even more.

It will be interesting to see how the media respond from here: will the media continue their backlash against the US military despite the dropped charges? Will there be continued calls for the marines to “behave themselves?” Or will this story simply die-out and be forgotten until another rape charge comes to light? One thing is for sure—the US navy will have to continue to carefully control their public image and make sure that they do not come under the spotlight in such a way again.

Other posts by Anna:


Following the allegation that a US Marine Staff Sergeant raped a young girl, I have decided to expand my research of the US-Japan/Okinawa relationship in the hopes of identifying weaknesses in the so-called "mutual" defense treaty and "host" nation support. I will focus on certain crimes committed by USFJ and the various outcomes relating to US-Japan relations.

As so rightly pointed out, the Japanese media and certain political elements have had a great run on pushing their agenda to have the US bases removed, SOFA revamped, and righting the wrongs committed against the citizens of Okinawa. Bear in mind that it "seemed" like the young victim was secondary to the grand scheme to further push a political/economic agenda.

When will the US understand that apologizing BEFORE all the facts are laid out, instituting punishment BEFORE the case is presented, and (un)knowingly criminalizing all US military and civilian personnel due to the action(s) of the few under SOFA-status does nothing more than to fuel or perpetuate the negative stereotypes that the media, certain Okinawain/Japanese citizens, and right-wingers have of the USFJ?

Why do the "experts," "analysts," or other Japan pundits not point out "honne - tatemae" like responses in dealing with situations like this? Was the apology due to being guilty of rape or an apology for other charges that the military will use to punish Hadnott under the USMJ? Was it due to a loss of face? Did the USFJ, experts, linguists, and/or other bother to refute the use of language in the Japanese press in identifying the perp as a suspect, criminal, or rapist? What did the girl report? In my eyes Hadnott is definitely guilty of being stupid, unbecoming of a Marine, and for wanting to do X, Y, or Z with a minor. Guilty as charged on those three BUT what is the rest of the story? Please understand that I am not defending this guy but I am questioning how this incident was used to further certain causes.

Why did certain Japanese newspapers give no more than a paragraph or two to report that the Marine was released due to no charges being filed? No charges? No DNA? No evidence? Did the story pan out? Some say a payout/payoff! What? The last "actual" young rape victim that received big press received approximately $9000.00 in "gomen" or" I'm sorry money" (to keep it at the street term). Was this situation too much for a 14-year old and her parent(s) to handle? Most probably yes since she and her family have been blasted in Japanese language blogs and websites.

Wake up people. Nothing is dropped and kept quite in Japan out of respect of the victim UNLESS there was nothing to pursue on the Japanese-side. The media and certain elements would milk this until the cow ran dry. There is much to pursue on the US-side and I hope that the perp gets what he deserves. Whether we hear additional details of this in the media, behind the scenes bargaining is still going on. The only downside is that the Japanese government must now shine the light on the screw up by the Aegis crew / MOD in handling the accident that killed a fisherman and his son.

Stayed tuned, more news coming your way! There is ALWAYS more to the story!


USMC (former)

after reading this horrible news of another rape in okinawa by these americans, i wondered why the punishment for rape in japan is so lenient?! migod! 7 to 10 years in jail?! ONLY?!!! it should be death penalty or at least life imprisonment! and why are there so many american bases in japan? they should ALL be in iraq. yeah, that's their war anyway! bases from okinawa are going to be transferred to guam. if i get the news right, i think they should be there by 2010. now this freaks me out coz i live in saipan. a very close island near guam. right now, i'm already thinking of moving. DON'T FORGET WHAT HAPPENED TO THE YOUNG INNOCENT 12YR OLD SCHOOLGIRL WHO WAS ABDUCTED & RAPED IN 1995. PLEASE PRAY FOR HER.

[Editor's Note: offensive language has been edited out from this post in accordance with our editorial policy]

you freaking moron. why are there bases in japan. NORTH KOREA. If the US leaves Japan, Japan is screwed. Japans military does not have the capability to deal with someone shooting at them with an air rifle much less a ballistic missile. The American bases are to keep North Korea and China at bay. If you dont live in Japan you do not understand the panic of a North Korean so called test. Its not Japanese Navy or Fighters protecting Japan its American. Japan is one of the USAs biggest allies financially and technologically. At this point one cannot survive with out the other. Let me ask you if your best friend lived next door to a mental patient with a shotgun would you leave them alone?

You're the moron here. If the US leaves Japan, Japan is in no danger of North Korea. If NK attacks Japan, South Korea and all of NATO will attack NK, including the US. South Korea attacking Japan is like a pit bull attacking a dalmatian who has a hundred grizzly bear friends standing around watching out for him.

If there was NAY chance NK would attack Japan if the US withdrew its troops, the US would have withdrawn long ago. It would give us the perfect excuse to go in and get rid of that oppressive regime and unite the Koreas.

You said, "why the punishment for rape in japan is so lenient?! migod! 7 to 10 years in jail?! ONLY?!!! it should be death penalty or at least life imprisonment!"

I'll have you know that feminists in the US have successfully lobbied to get the penalties for rape REDUCED in the 1960s through the 1980s. Why? Because if the punishment for rape is the same or greater than the punishment for murder, then all rapists will kill their victims, because they have nothing to lose by doing so except the victim who can identify them.

Rape is a horrible crime and deserves a horrible punishment, but you have to think about the consequences before you start handing out life sentences or death sentences. If you made life imprisonment or capital punishment a serious possibility in rape cases, you would inadvertently be sentencing many future VICTIMS to death!

Hey Anonymous in Saipan! If you are thinking of moving due to US Marines being relocated to Guam, you may want to try a few coastal cities in North Korea. That should give you a good buffer.

At any rate, do yourself a favor and not make blanket statements about the men, women, and children of the USFJ based on the bad deeds of a few servicemen in Okinawa.

Try picking up a Japanese (Okinawa) newspaper to see if there is any additional reporting on the rape of a 13-year old girl from Uruma, Okinawa who was raped by a 30-year old Okinawain. Sourse: Sankei Shinbum (Okinawa Editor (?).:



How about a 74 year old Okinawain male molesting a 11-year old child? Send him to Iraq?


How about to males arrested for their deeds with two Jr. H.S. girls?


Do more research and save the bashing for another thread. Let's stay on course here at Japan, Inc.

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.


it would be a refreshing change of pace for the US military to not be involved in rape.

It will be interesting when China has hundreds of bases in the US, and Americans are being molested by them, it will feel very different then won't it!