Okinawa Prefectural Assembly adopts a resolution demanding the revision of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement

June 29, 2011 Ryukyu Shimpo

At a regular meeting on June 29, the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly (Chairman Zenshin Takamine) unanimously passed a resolution and statement of protest against the U.S. military parachute drill held at Kadena Air Base on May and seeking the revision of U.S.-Japan Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA).

In the resolution, the Assembly demands a stop the U.S. military parachute training at the Kadena Air Base, saying, “Military officials suggest that they can conduct any training at the base anytime they like. In our view, this is not acceptable.” The assembly protests, stating that, “The Japanese government consents to the U.S. military’s unilateral approach to such things.”

A U.S. military civilian employee recently caused a traffic accident in Okinawa City in which a local was killed but the individual at fault was not prosecuted. In relation to this issue, the assembly calls for the revision of the SOFA, pointing out its shortcomings, saying, “The U.S. military is soft on punitive action towards its own people and their criteria for judging whether those people are on official duty or not leaves a lot to be desired.” The Naha Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution determined that the person who caused the accident should be indicted.

The written statement of opinion will be sent to Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister and the Defense Minister of Japan. The resolution of protest will be sent to U.S. Ambassador to Japan and to U.S. government officials such as the U.S. military commander of U.S. Forces in Japan.
Members of the Assembly will visit the Consulate General of the United States and other organizations in Okinawa prefecture to make a direct protest.

(English Translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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