November 16, 2012 Seventh Session
U.S. Ambassador to Japan
Okinawa Area Coordinator OAFO, U.S. Forces Japan
Commander 18th Wing, U.S. Air Force
Resolution of Protest
Actions Taken in Response to Succession of Incidents
Caused by U.S. Military Servicemembers
On November 2, at approximately 12:50 AM, an incident occurred in central Okinawa Island where a U.S. military servicemember stationed in Okinawa committed an act of trespass and property destruction and inflicted injuries. This incident has once again given great shock and concern among the citizens of the prefecture.
Since Okinawa’s reversion to Japan, the number of criminal cases committed by the U.S. military and/or other SOFA personnel have reached 5,792 as of the end of October 2012. Whenever incidents or accidents occur, the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly has strongly called on the U.S. Forces and other relevant bodies for the strengthening of discipline and the implementation of preventive measures and education programs, etc.
There has been a succession of incidents including an act of forced indecency resulting in bodily injury on August 18 and alleged assault of a woman on October 16 this year. It was reported that the U.S. Forces Japan issued an order which prohibits all servicemembers from being outside between 11:00 PM and 5:00 AM.
However, yet another incident occurred, ignoring the order only two weeks after it was issued.
The governments of Japan and the U.S. repeatedly expressed regrets and the U.S. government immediately re-announced the thorough enforcement of discipline. However, the recent incident has proven that the temporary regulation was perfunctory, intending to abate the anger of prefectural citizens and the disciplinary measures are not working.
The question is why the two governments do not initiate actions to fundamentally solve the problem while ignoring the situation where incidents and accidents repeatedly occur even 67 years after the war and 40 years after the reversion of Okinawa to Japan. The only means of protecting the life and human rights of the prefectural people is to realign and reduce the U.S. Forces in Okinawa and prohibit servicemembers from going outside the military installations.
With the backdrop of the enforced deployment of the MV-22 Osprey to Okinawa in which the voices of our citizens were ignored, the occurrence of another incident such as this has outstretched the patience of the people of Okinawa. The calls for the complete removal of the US military bases on Okinawa have begun to grow among the citizens.
From the standpoint of protecting the human rights, lives and properties of the citizens of Okinawa, we, the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly, solemnly protest against the recent incident, and strongly demand that the following three items be carried out expeditiously.
1. Full compensation and apologies to be made to the victims and their families, and the suspects to be handed over to the Okinawa Prefectural Police.
2. Conduct a fundamental review of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement and strengthen the curfew to make it effective.
3. Promote the consolidation and reduction of base facilities by facing up to the unjust situation that the 74% of the military facilities exclusively used by the U.S. Forces is concentrated in Okinawa which accounts for only 0.6% of the land area of Japan.
The above is resolved as stated on this 16th day of November, 2012.
Okinawa Prefectural Assembly