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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 February 27 - March 4  > Crimes by U.S. servicemen occur all over Japan
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2008 February 27 - March 4 [US FORCES]

Crimes by U.S. servicemen occur all over Japan

February 24
In Japan, currently there are 87 U.S. military facilities where about 2,000 army soldiers, 16,000 marines, 6,000 sailors, and 13,000 airmen are stationed. Including the 13,000 crew members of the U.S. Seventh Fleet, about 50,000 U.S. military troops in total are stationed in Japan.

Japan is the only country that the U.S. stations all of its four military branches outside its own borders, and is the biggest U.S. sortie base in the west pacific area. Japan supports U.S. global wars as evidenced by the U.S. warships and Marine Corps that have been sent to Iraq from bases in Japan.

Crimes and accidents caused by U.S. troops continuously occur in Japan. According to the Defense Ministry’s documents submitted to the Japanese Communist Party House of Representatives member Akamine Seiken, 204,785 crimes and accidents were caused by U.S. servicemen in Japan in the period between 1952, when the first Japan-U.S. Security Treaty came into force, and 2006, causing the deaths of 1,081 Japanese citizens (excluding the number of crimes and accidents that occurred in Okinawa before it was returned to Japan in 1972).

About 90 percent of the U.S. Marine Corps stationed in Japan, sent to battlefields as the initial “strike force”, is stationed in Okinawa. They continuously commit atrocious crimes there.

In Kanagawa Prefecture, hosting the second largest number of U.S. bases in Japan,sailor killed woman

On a morning in January 2006, a woman was attacked and murdered by a U.S. sailor in Yokosuka City on her way to work. Her 60-year-old husband Yamazaki Masanori spoke on February 16, 2008 at a rally to support his lawsuit seeking the responsibility of the U.S. forces and the Japanese government over the murder. He said, “The sailor pretended to ask her for directions. When she tried to walk away after showing him the direction, he blocked her way, knocked her down, jumped on top of her, and beat her repeatedly. Then he dragged her to the inside of a building, slammed her against the wall, and jumped on her.”

Beaten by a sailor who can push a 177-kg bench press, Yoshie’s face was totally deformed. “At first he just wanted to steal her money but gradually his intention changed to killing her,” said Yamasaki.

In court, Yamazaki heard Yoshie’s voice asking for help that was recorded by a security camera. “I will never forget that voice. I will fight for her no matter how long it takes. Like Okinawa’s recent crime, women always become the victims. U.S. troops’ crimes are an important aspect in issue of whether to allow  the U.S. forces and bases to remain in Japan.”

Taxi driver beaten

Tabata Iwao, a 62-year-old taxi driver, filed a damage suit against a U.S. sailor and the Japanese government on February 13.

A crew member of the U.S. Seventh Fleet flagship Blue Ridge refused to pay Tabata the taxi fare to Yokohama Station. When Tabata asked the sailor to pay, he was punched in the face and seriously injured.

Tabata said that he was injured by U.S. sailors whom Japanese tax payers financially support. “As long as U.S. bases stay here, crimes will continue,” he said.

Gun pointed at woman

In Sagamihara City where the U.S. Army Sagami Supply Depot is located, a U.S. soldier pointed his gun at a woman. A 50-year-old housewife testified about the incident at a rally in the Diet building on February 19.

When she was riding her bicycle on the morning of February 16, she saw a U.S. humvee coming towards her. When it was passing by her, she realized that a soldier was pointing his gun straight at her. “It was obvious that the man intentionally pointed his gun at me. At that moment, I felt all the pores throughout my body opened, but I was too terrified to say anything.”

She said, “I still see the scene in my dreams. Crimes involving U.S. troops are increasing. I want U.S. bases to be removed as soon as possible so that we can live without being terrorized.”
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