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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 February 13 - 19  > Okinawa legislature adopts unanimous condemnation of rape by U.S. Marine
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2008 February 13 - 19 [US FORCES]

Okinawa legislature adopts unanimous condemnation of rape by U.S. Marine

February 15, 2008
The Okinawa Prefectural Assembly on February 14 adopted a unanimous resolution lodging a strong protest with the U.S. forces in Japan and the United States Ambassador to Japan over the recent rape by a U.S. Marine of a local schoolgirl.

The resolution urged the United States to apologize and fully compensate the victim and her family, take effective steps in a visible manner to prevent the recurrence of a similar incident, and reduce the presence of U.S. forces in Japan.

The resolution said that the incident “came as a shock to the prefectural people and caused grave concerns to them because it was such a vicious crime that trampled upon human dignity” and that “the assault on a defenseless girl is absolutely unforgivable.”

The Okinawa legislature also adopted a statement making representations to the Japanese government as well as the prime minister to the same effect.

At a news conference following the adoption of the resolution, Nakazato Toshinobu, Okinawa Prefectural Assembly chair, characterized the resolution as an “expression of Okinawans’ rage” and said, “Some assembly members are calling for a rally to be held in order to make their voices heard throughout the country. My position continues to be that it may be necessary to hold such a rally depending on the growth of public protests and local assembly resolutions.”

* * *

Okinawa Governor Nakaima Hirokazu on February 14 met separately with Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo and Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura Nobutaka at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence in Tokyo. At both meetings he explained how local opposition to the U.S. military presence is growing. He also requested that the government urge the U.S. Forces in Japan to take steps to strengthen U.S. military discipline to help prevent such crimes from being committed by U.S. military personnel.

In a meeting with Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs Kishida Fumio, the Okinawa governor warned that growing public anger at U.S. forces in Okinawa could call the legitimacy of U.S. military bases in Japan into question.
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