Okinawa Island is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in Southeast Asia and could become an excellent tourist destination. But there is one major circumstance: the war, which ended in Japan in 1945, continues on this island until now. More specifically, there are an American military base on Okinawa Island, supposedly protecting the peaceful population of Japan. However, the population of the island is constantly suffering damage and humiliation from overseas defenders.
It should be recalled that the American base in Okinawa has long been the cause of the outbreak of the local population that has flared up from time to time, but never fading. Moreover, most of the crimes committed by the American contingent in Japan fall precisely on this base.
The US military presence provokes discontent among Japanese citizens because of crimes involving US servicemen. According to the administration of the prefecture of Okinawa, over 5,000 crimes were committed on the island since 1972, when administrative rights to Okinawa were transferred to Japan. However, due to the local tradition, many incidents do not reach the Japanese police. The fact is that there is nothing more terrible in Japan than shame from the experience of humiliation. Because of this, many victims hide their fact of rape all their lives.
The Agreement on the Status of the Armed Forces, signed by Japan in 1960, grants US citizens who are on military service serious preferences. Among the "benefits" for American soldiers is the special legal status of a serviceman who commits a crime of any severity.
The list of crimes of the American military in Japan is great. Most of crimes is rapes, fatal accidents and driving in a state of alcohol and drug intoxication.
The loudest crime that stirred up the Japanese public was the rape of a 12-year-old Japanese schoolgirl by a group of American servicemen in 1995.
After this crime, about 90 thousand Japanese took to the streets with the demands not only to find and immediately punish the soldiers who committed the crime, but also to review the legal status of US Armed Forces. At that time, the command then did not dare to cover the crime of Marine Corps soldiers (they received 6.5 and 10 years of imprisonment). After this incident in 1995, the number of US military personnel in Okinawa was reduced, but there were no major changes in the legislation, statutes and structure of the military police.
In view of impunity, sexual crimes were committed and committed by American soldiers all the time. The last horrendous incident involving a US citizen in Okinawa occurred in late April 2016, when a member of the US military base Kadena raped and then killed a 20-year-old Japanese woman. A US serviceman was sentenced to life imprisonment for this crime by the court of the city of Naha in December 1, 2017. The fact of punishment of the American who committed the crime by the Japanese side is exceptional.
The last known road accident involving the US military occurred in November 2017 in the same Japanese city of Naha near the territory of the US military base. The culprit was a drunken American serviceman driving a truck. After crossing the intersection on a red light, he rammed a small cargo van. 60-year-old driver died of the injuries.
These cases cause discontent not only for the residents of Okinawa, but for all other Japanese. Meanwhile, there are more and more problems due to the presence of the US bases in the country. But Japanese politicians constantly convince residents of the need for the presence of US military bases in Japan. They use so-called North Korean threat as the main justification. But, at the same time, Japanese authorities simply turn a blind eye for the numerous crimes of American servicemen in their country.