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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 June 7 - 13  > 90% of crimes committed by US servicepersons in 2022 not taken to court
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2023 June 7 - 13 [US FORCES]

90% of crimes committed by US servicepersons in 2022 not taken to court

June 10, 2023
It has been revealed that more than 90% of crimes committed in 2022 by U.S. military personnel, their family members, or U.S. civilian employees attached to the U.S. military escaped prosecution in Japan.

According to the document that the Japan Peace Committee obtained from the Judicial Affairs Ministry, the prosecution rate was a dismal 9.6%.

The rate of the general public charged for crimes has stayed at around 30% in recent years in Japan. Compared to the 30%, the 9.6% is extremely low, shedding light on "preferential" treatment given to U.S. soldiers and military-related civilians in Japan.

The document shows that the number of prosecuted crimes involving U.S. military-related personnel amounted to only ten, while 94 cases were exempted from prosecution. Regarding sexual assaults, rapes, rapes resulting in death and injury, negligence resulting in death and injury, intimidation, and fraud which were committed by U.S. military personnel, all the cases were dismissed. Regarding thefts, only one of the 29 cases was taken to court. Regarding trespassing, only one of the eleven cases faced prosecution. Aside from criminal cases, the ratio of prosecution in 155 car accidents which resulted in death and injury, caused by U.S. military personnel was 23.2% only.

Article 17 of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement stipulates that the primary jurisdiction over crimes committed by U.S. servicepersons "while on duty" resides with the U.S. authorities and "while off duty" with the Japanese authorities. However, the Japanese government in 1953 made a secret agreement promising that Japan renounces its jurisdiction over all cases, except in "special" cases of importance.

Past related article:
> None of US soldiers who committed crimes in Japan 'while on duty' charged in Japanese courts [April 27, 2023]

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