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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 May 21 - 27  > Japan takes over U.S. responsibility to pay 3 million yen to rape victim
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2008 May 21 - 27 [US FORCES]

Japan takes over U.S. responsibility to pay 3 million yen to rape victim

May 21, 2008
The Japanese Defense Ministry has decided to pay 3 million yen in compensation to an Australian woman on behalf of a U.S. sailor who raped her in 2002 in Kanagawa Prefecture.

Japan took this action because the sailor failed to comply with the Tokyo District Court order to pay 3 million yen in compensation to the victim.

This is the first time that the Japanese government has paid compensation to a victim of sexual assault by a U.S. serviceman.

The Australian woman was raped by the serviceman after he got into her car in a parking lot when she returned from a bar in April.

She filed a civil lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court in August 2002 seeking 11.77 million yen in compensation from the serviceman because Japanese prosecutors and the US Navy decided not to file charges.

The sailor left Japan during the course of the trial. The money ordered by the court was never paid.

Commenting on the Japanese decision, she stated, “The U.S. sailor and the U.S. government must take responsibility and apologize to me. No answer came from the U.S. government to my many letters. This is not justice. Though I’ve spent these six years in tears and with pain beyond description, I will keep on looking for him till the attacker apologizes to me.”

In accordance with the 1964 cabinet decision that allows the government to pay money in compensation to a victim of U.S. forces if such compensation is not provided by the United States, the recent payment is the tenth in the past three years.

Under the Status of U.S. Forces in Japan Agreement, Article 18, paragraph 6 (c) concerning compensation owed by U.S. military personnel for crime or accidents while they were not on duty, the U.S. government is responsible for the payment of compensation in case the offender cannot afford to pay. - Akahata, May 21, 2008
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