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HOME  > Past issues  > 2011 April 6 - 12  > US Navy employee causing death of Japanese man in car accident unfairly exempted from prosecution
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2011 April 6 - 12 [US FORCES]

US Navy employee causing death of Japanese man in car accident unfairly exempted from prosecution

April 9, 2011
A U.S. Navy employee, who caused the death of a 19-year-old man in a head-on car crash in Okinawa in January, was exempted from prosecution on the grounds that the collision occurred on his way to work and so he was on duty.

The Japan Peace Committee on April 9 visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to demand that the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), which serves as the basis for dropping the case, be fundamentally revised.

Representatives of the peace committee expressed their resentment toward the unreasonable SOFA, saying, “Can’t Japanese laws even bring a U.S. criminal suspect to stand trial even though the suspect deprived a Japanese national of his precious life?”

A ministry official in charge of the SOFA said that the government will discuss SOFA matters during the bilateral talks on the Futenma base relocation issue.

The representatives criticized this government tactic for regarding the SOFA issue as a bargaining tool in negotiations over the Futenma question.

They again demanded that the government listen to the bereaved family and the Okinawan people and negotiate with the United States over the SOFA revision in parallel with negotiations over the Futenma base issue.
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