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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 December 21 - 2023 January 10  > US marine driving stolen car causes traffic accident
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2022 December 21 - 2023 January 10 [US FORCES]

US marine driving stolen car causes traffic accident

December 24, 2022

A U.S. marine stationed at the U.S. Marine Corps Iwakuni base (Yamaguchi Pref.) has caused a traffic accident after stealing a car in Iwakuni City. Akahata learned this on December 23 from the filing of a request by victims of the car theft with the Defense Ministry Chugoku-Shikoku Defense Bureau for immediate support.

The car theft victims are Harada Kazuo, a local car dealer, and his son Jun’ichi.

According to the Haradas, at around 6 a.m. on December 3, the U.S. marine broke into Harada’s shop, and stole Jun’ichi’s new car. Soon after that, the marine caused a crash at an intersection near the Iwakuni base and fled from the scene and entered the base after abandoning the car. The U.S. military said that the military personnel in question continues performing his work as usual.

At a press conference after the filing of the request, Harada’s son, Jun’ichi, complained about the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement. Expressing his dissatisfaction regarding the defense bureau’s negative stance toward initiating a quick response to the case, he said, “Three weeks has passed since the accident, but we still can’t file a claim for damages. So, we decided to ask the bureau for early support, but they seem to be reluctant to respond to our demand.” The car dealer angrily said that the Iwakuni police is unable to detain the suspect because he is a U.S. soldier, and that this is grossly unfair.

Former JCP Lower House member Ohira Yoshinobu and JCP Yamaguchi Prefectural Assemblyperson Fujimoto Kazunori attended the representations.

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