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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 December 19 - 2019 January 8  > Okinawa prefectural assembly passes resolution regarding arrest of US deserter armed with a gun
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2018 December 19 - 2019 January 8 [US FORCES]

Okinawa prefectural assembly passes resolution regarding arrest of US deserter armed with a gun

December 21, 2018

The Okinawa prefectural assembly on December 20 at its plenary session unanimously adopted a statement and a resolution protesting against the incident in which a U.S. serviceman carrying a gun deserted from his base, and urged the U.S. military to tighten discipline among both military and civilian personnel.

The incident occurred on December 6. The armed deserter was arrested by the U.S. military in Yomitan Village.

The adopted documents point out that the U.S. forces provided no information regarding the incident to the Japanese defense authorities and relevant local governments until after they arrested the deserter. In the statement and resolution, the prefectural assembly expressed its anger, criticizing the U.S. military for ignoring its responsibility given under the Japan-U.S. agreement regarding required notification to Japanese authorities of any incident that possibly poses a risk to public safety.

The two documents demand that the U.S. forces impose on military and civilian personnel stricter rules on possession and control of firearms, improve the incident notification system, and take effective measures to prevent a recurrence. The documents also request that the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement be revised drastically.
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