Okinawa JCP: Japan-U.S. military alliance is root cause of U.S. crimes

Okinawan police on July 2 obtained an arrest warrant for 24-year-old Timothy B. Woodland of the U.S. Kadena Air Base suspected of raping an Okinawan woman in Chatan Town on June 29.

The Japanese Communist Party Okinawa Prefectural Committee on the same day urged Hashimoto Hiroshi, Ministry of Foreign Affairs ambassador, to review the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) in order to prevent crimes committed by U.S. personnel.

Citing a number of incidents caused by U.S. servicemen in Chatan Town, the JCP argued that judging from the Okinawan pre-war history and people's experiences, the presence of U.S. bases increases crimes and accidents involving U.S. soldiers.

Akamine Seiken, JCP member of the House of Representatives and JCP Okinawa Prefectural Committee chair, criticized the Japanese government for doing nothing except for mentioning "preventive steps" each time a tragedy occurs. Akamine pointed out that this is the very nature of the Japan-U.S. military alliance.

Emphasizing that U.S. crimes will continue in Okinawa as long as Japan is subordinate to the U.S., Akamine demanded that the number of U.S. military bases in Okinawa be rearranged and reduced. (end)