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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 January 11 - 17  > Signature drive launched calling for relief of US crime victims in Yamaguchi's Iwakuni City
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2023 January 11 - 17 [US FORCES]

Signature drive launched calling for relief of US crime victims in Yamaguchi's Iwakuni City

January 12, 2023
A signature-collection drive has been launched, calling for compensation for damages from the central government for victims of crimes committed by a U.S. marine in Iwakuni City (Yamaguchi Pref.) late last year.

A group of Iwakuni citizens, at a rally held in opposition to the strengthening of functions at the U.S. Marine Corps Iwakuni base, announced the launch of the campaign. The civic group set a goal to gather as many as 20,000 signatures by the end of January.

At around 6 a.m. on December 3 last year, a U.S. marine stationed at the U.S. Iwakuni base broke into the shop of car dealer Harada Kazuo by smashing a window and stole a new car. Soon after that, the marine caused a crash. He then fled from the scene and returned to the base after abandoning the car without giving first aid to an injured person and without reporting the accident to the police.

Japanese Communist Party Iwakuni City Assemblyperson Matsuda Kazushi and former assemblymember Onishi Akiko (JCP candidate in the Yamaguchi prefectural assembly) participated in the rally. Matsuda said, "We should form public opinion calling for relief of victims of crimes and accidents involving U.S. military personnel."

Harada, the victim, said, "I've been running my own car business for more than two decades, and it was the first time that I became a victim of car theft. I was really in trouble because I didn't know where to go for help." He said he decided to show up to the rally in order to prevent a similar crime from recurring.

Past related article:
> US marine driving stolen car causes traffic accident [December 24, 2022]
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