Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
Blog [Japanese]
HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 November 15 - 21  > Gov. Onaga lodges protest over US marine's drunk-driving that killed Okinawan
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2017 November 15 - 21 TOP3 [US FORCES]

Gov. Onaga lodges protest over US marine's drunk-driving that killed Okinawan

November 21, 2017
Okinawa Governor Onaga Takeshi on November 20 lodged a protest with Okinawa Area Coordinator for U.S. Forces Lawrence Nicholson over a fatal car crash that involved an alcohol-impaired U.S. marine.

The U.S. lieutenant general visited the governor in the prefectural government office to apologize to him for the accident that occurred the day before and killed an Okinawan man.

Governor Onaga looked Nicholson straight in the eye and said, "I have no words to describe the loss of the victim who was killed."

Onaga pointed out that every time a crime or an incident involving U.S. personnel occurs, the U.S. military promises to "strengthen discipline" and "prevent a recurrence", and said, "We, Okinawans, are fed up with your empty words and cannot trust you anymore. I'm afraid I cannot say that you are our good neighbor."

Criticizing the U.S. forces for repeatedly claiming that the issue concerning bases in Okinawa is "Japan's domestic affair", Onaga told Nicholson, "Don't repeat the same thing, 'Discuss the Okinawa base issue among Japanese.' And, please make this the last time we need to meet over a tragedy caused by your men."

* * *

Vice Governor of Okinawa Tomikawa Moritake on November 20 summoned the Okinawa Defense Bureau chief and the foreign ministry's ambassador in charge of Okinawa to the prefectural government office to protest the auto crash resulting in the death of an Okinawan.

The U.S. military explained to the Okinawa Police that the incident had occurred when the U.S. marine at fault was "off-duty". However, the truck the suspect drove was a U.S. military vehicle.

In the case of "off-duty" accidents, the individual involved is held responsible to provide compensation. This often allows offenders to not adequately compensate victims or to delay compensation payment. The vice governor expressed concern over that delegation of responsibility.

* * *

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira on November 20 held a press conference in the Diet building and emphasized the need to remove the U.S. forces from Okinawa in order to eliminate similar crimes and incidents from recurring.

Koike noted that Lawrence Nicholson, the U.S. military Okinawa area coordinator, just three days before the fatal crash said that his goal is to totally eradicate disgraceful incidents and crimes committed by U.S. servicepersons. Koike stated, "I must point out that the U.S. military's management mechanism is not working at all."
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved