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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 June 29 - July 5  > Tightened discipline has no effect on occurrence of drunk driving by US servicemen
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2016 June 29 - July 5 [US FORCES]

Tightened discipline has no effect on occurrence of drunk driving by US servicemen

July 5, 2016
The U.S. forces in Okinawa promised to enforce discipline among military and civilian personnel after an ex-U.S. marine was arrested on charges of the rape and murder of a local woman. However, this promise appears to have had no effect on reducing the number of arrests of U.S. servicemen for such crimes as drunk driving.

The Okinawa prefectural police at around 4 a.m. on July 4 arrested Christopher Aaron Platt, a 27-year-old staff sergeant stationed at the U.S. Kadena Air base, on a road in Chatan Town. The police detected alcohol on his breath exceeding the legal limit. The airman, however, claimed that he did not drink.

Only ten days earlier, a U.S. base worker was arrested for impaired driving due to alcohol consumption.


The Japanese and U.S. governments on July 4 agreed to narrow the range of civilian employees who are subject to the application of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement.

The SOFA defines civilian personnel as “the civilian persons of United States nationality who are in the employ of, serving with, or accompanying the United States armed forces in Japan.” Currently, under this definition, the SOFA is applied not only to those who are directly hired by the U.S. forces but also to private company employees working at U.S. bases.

From now on, the SOFA will cover private company employees who are technical advisors and consultants officially invited by the U.S. forces in Japan. The latest adjustment to the SOFA also provides other specifics regarding civilian personnel.

Past related articles:
> US military civilian causes drunk-driving crash just after easing of curfew announced [June 25&27, 2016]
> Japan-US agreement to limit SOFA coverage is misleading [June 6, 2016]
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