Okinawa Prefectural Assembly decides to lodge a protest against the latest crimes committed by U.S. military personnel

November 17, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

Following the recent crimes committed by U.S. military personnel, including the member of the United States Army Air Force who trespassed and then assaulted a teenage boy, the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly held a special meeting on November 16 in which it unanimously adopted a resolution and a formal written statement of opinion. The resolution states that the assembly will lodge a protest against the incidents, demanding an apology and seeking full compensation for victims from the U.S. military forces, as well as requesting the handing over of the suspects. The assembly is scheduled to conduct protest activities on November 19.

In the resolution, the assembly pointed out that measures such as strengthening discipline following the alleged rape of a woman in the central region of the main island of Okinawa by two U.S. military personnel are only temporary and are designed to placate Okinawan people’s anger, and that the recent incidents proved that these measures have no real effect.

On that basis, the assembly concluded that the only way to protect lives and human rights of Okinawan people is to consolidate and scale down the size of the U.S. military bases in Okinawa and to place a curfew on all their military personnel. The resolution also requests a fundamental review of the Japan-U.S. Status-of-Forces Agreement, and that the curfew on all U.S. military personnel in Okinawa be strictly enforced. Furthermore, the assembly decided to demand that the U.S. military forces consolidate and scale down the bases in Okinawa.

The assembly intends to send the resolution to five representatives including the U.S. Ambassador to Japan and the Okinawa Area Coordinator, and the formal written opinion to four key figures such as the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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