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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 March 19 - 25  > Sex crime rate involving U.S. forces is extraordinarily high
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2008 March 19 - 25 [US FORCES]

Sex crime rate involving U.S. forces is extraordinarily high

March 25, 2008
Japanese Communist Party representative Inoue Satoshi used his allotted time for questioning at the House of Councilors Budget Committee meeting on March 24 to reveal that the rate of crimes involving sex offenders in the U.S. military is much higher than in Japanese society in general.

Inoue said that the root cause of the high sex crime rate can be found in the very essence of the U.S. wars of aggression. “The tightening of military discipline and increasing education” of U.S. forces cannot help to eliminate sex crimes by U.S. servicemen in Japan.

In complete disregard of the Japanese government petition to the U.S. Forces in Japan for tighter discipline to be imposed on the U.S. military, sexual assaults by U.S. servicemen in Japan did not stop even after the 1995 gang-rape by U.S. Marines of a junior high school student.

The following is a list of the numbers of sex crimes by U.S. servicemen and civilian personnel (compiled by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs):

1996: 4 (3 in Okinawa and 1 in Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Pref.)
1997: 2 (1 in Okinawa and 1 in Aomori Pref.)
1998: 2 (1 in Okinawa and 1 in Iwakuni)
1999: 1 (Okinawa)
2000: 2 (Okinawa)
2001: 1 (Okinawa)
2002: 2 (1 in Okinawa and 1 in Yokosuka in Kanagawa Pref.)
2003: 3 (1 each in Okinawa, Sasebo in Nagasaki Pref., and Iwakuni)
2004: 4 (1 in Okinawa, 2 in Zama in Kanagawa Pref., and 1 in Iwakuni)
2005: 1 (Okinawa)
2006: 1 (Yokosuka:
2007: 2 (1 in Okinawa and 1 in Hiroshima in Hiroshima Pref.)
2008: 1 (Okinawa)

Inoue quoted the DoD report as saying; “For fiscal year 2007 there were 2,688 reports of sexual assault among the services.” This means that 18 cases of sex offenses per 10,000 U.S. servicemen took place, and this is the number of cases that were actually reported. This is about 22 times the total cases of sexual assaults and rapes in Japan.

Inoue went on to say that U.S. forces in Japan have launched a “Prevent Sexual Assault” campaign using posters.

“This is the reality of U.S. forces stationed in Japan and repeatedly committing sex crimes,” said the JCP lawmaker.

In response to Foreign Minister Komura Masahiko’s remarks that “it is hard to argue in general terms about so many sex crimes being committed,” Inoue said, “Ridiculous! How can you protect Japanese people with such limited understanding of this issue?”

Quoting a former U.S. Marine who had been stationed in Okinawa as saying: Marines would be forced to respond to the commander’s question, “What do you want to do?” by screaming, “Kill!”, Inoue said, “This shows that U.S. troops are trained in a way that violates the human rights of others.”

Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo never even rose to respond to Inoue’s questions. The foreign minister just said, “We will do out utmost to reduce crimes,” on the premise that U.S. forces are stationed in accordance with the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.

“Such an answer will never appease Okinawans. The removal of U.S. military bases and withdrawal of U.S. forces is the only way” to eradicate crimes by U.S. forces, Inoue said.
- Akahata, March 25, 2008
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