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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 February 13 - 19  > JCP vehemently protests against rape by U.S. Marine in Okinawa
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2008 February 13 - 19 [US FORCES]

JCP vehemently protests against rape by U.S. Marine in Okinawa

February 13, 2008
The Japanese Communist Party on February 12 vehemently protested against the rape of a 14-year-old girl by a U.S. Marine in Okinawa.

JCP Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi at a press conference denounced the crime, saying, “We are bitterly resentful at this barbarous crime,” and demanded that the criminal be severely punished and that authorities concerned take strict measures to prevent such crimes in the future.

Quoting Okinawans as saying that as long as U.S. bases continue to exist such incidents will never cease to occur and that they must raise their voices now, Ichida pointed out that Okinawans’ anger against the rape incident is very strong. He stressed that the Japanese government must sincerely respond to their outrage.

Citing recent atrocious crimes committed by U.S. servicemen, such as a murder of a woman in Yokosuka City (January 2006), an attempted murder of a woman in Sasebo City (October 2006), and a rape of a women in Hiroshima City (October 2007), Ichida said, “Crimes occur wherever U.S. bases are located.”

Unless U.S. bases are reduced in number and eventually removed from Japan and unless the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement is fundamentally revised, it is impossible to prevent U.S. servicemen’s crimes, Ichida stressed.

Referring to Foreign Minister Komura Masahiko’s remarks that he is concerned about “how to minimize this incident’s adverse influence on the Japan-U.S. relations”, Ichida strongly criticized the government for “being obsessed with Japan-U.S. relations more than Japanese citizens’ human rights, lives and safety.” “For whom is this government working?” he said.

In the meantime, JCP House of Representatives member Akamine Seiken visited the Foreign Ministry Okinawa Office and Okinawa Defense Bureau to lodge a strong protest against the incident and to call for the elimination of crimes by U.S. servicemen and civilian employees.

In a Lower House Budget Committee meeting, JCP Diet Policy Commission Chair Kokuta Keiji presented a protest against the incident.

Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo in reply stated that the crime was “very regrettable” and that the government will strongly request the U.S. to take preventive measures. However, concerning the Japanese government’s response, Fukuda only said, “We will deal with it appropriately based on the evidence.”
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