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HOME  > Past issues  > 2010 January 27 - February 2  > U.S. ignores order to pay compensation to a Japanese victim
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2010 January 27 - February 2 [US FORCES]

U.S. ignores order to pay compensation to a Japanese victim

January 29, 2010
A Japanese man injured by a U.S. serviceman has been left without being paid damages by the U.S. military on the grounds that the assailant is no longer U.S. personnel and is missing.

In September 2006, a drunken U.S. serviceman stationed at the U.S. Yokosuka Naval Base in Kanagawa Prefecture seriously injured a Japanese taxi driver in an act of violence. In August 2008, the Yokohama District Court ordered the U.S. soldier to pay 1.35 million yen in compensation. The money, however, has not been paid to the victim.

Prosecutors indicted the U.S. sailor for causing injury. After completing his prison term, he was discharged and reportedly has gone missing.

When a U.S. serviceman commits a crime or causes an accident while off-duty, the U.S. military pays a small amount of compensation to the victim and the Japanese government makes up the difference between the money paid by U.S. forces and the money a court ordered the defendant to pay.

Regarding the case in question, the government explains that it cannot pay the balance because the U.S. military has not decided the amount of compensation it may be willing to pay.

Lawyer Takahashi Hiroshi said, “When the compensation will be paid to Japanese victims depends on the U.S. forces even after Japanese courts issue an order to pay. This is not a relief measure for Japanese victims of U.S. crimes.”
- Akahata, January 29, 2010
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