February 24, 2021 Ryukyu Shimpo
A member of the U.S. Marine Corps stationed at Camp Courtney was arrested on February 11 on suspicion of indecent assault. On February 24, in a plenary session, the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly unanimously passed a protest resolution and written opinion calling for the U.S. government, Japanese government, and U.S. military to issue apologies and reparations to the victim of the indecent assault, and calling for thorough countermeasures to such occurrences. The protest resolution and written opinion severely criticized the incident with the words “This is a crime that violates human dignity.” The members of the Special Committee on U.S. Base Affairs then visited and delivered the protest resolution and written opinion to concerned agencies such as the Okinawa Defense Bureau and Consulate-General of the U.S. in Okinawa.
Taking into account the seemingly endless stream of incidents/accidents by U.S. military personnel, the protest resolution and written opinion contain the assertion that “It must be said that human rights education efforts and military personnel management systems are not functioning.” Additionally, the resolution and opinion called for (1) apologies and complete reparations for victims and families of victims, (2) enforcement of official discipline and an effective recurrence prevention policy, (3) observance of guidelines concerning actions outside of working hours (the Liberty Policy), (4) holding early-stage meetings of the Cooperative Working Team (CWT) for preventing incidents/accidents by U.S. military personnel and civilians in military employ, and (5) a drastic revision of the U.S.-Japan Status of Forces Agreement.
Recipients of the protest resolution include the U.S. ambassador to Japan and the commander of the U.S. Forces, Japan, and recipients of the written opinion include the prime minister, the foreign minister, and the defense minister.
(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)