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HOME  > Past issues  > 2011 November 9 - 15  > Nearly half of US forces’ civilian employees go unpunished after committing crimes
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2011 November 9 - 15 [US FORCES]

Nearly half of US forces’ civilian employees go unpunished after committing crimes

November 13, 2011
Out of 62 crimes committed by civilian employees working for the U.S. forces in Japan “while on duty” from September 2006 to the end of 2010, 44% or 27 cases were dismissed without punishing the perpetrators.

This was discovered in a document the Justice Ministry released at the request of Japanese Communist Party House of Councilors member Inoue Satoshi.

Japanese prosecutors dropped all of the 62 cases based on Article 17 of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement, which gives the U.S. side primary jurisdiction over crimes committed by U.S. military civilian employees while on duty. The U.S. forces gave disciplinary punishments to those involved in 35 cases but took no actions in the remaining 27.

Normally, U.S. military personnel who committed crimes while performing duties were up for court martial. However, none of the military-attached civilian employees were court-martialed.

According to the Justice Ministry, information regarding what kind of punishment the U.S. forces gave will not be released to the victims without consent of the criminals. In other words, the perpetrators could be acquitted without the victim’s knowledge.

The U.S. government recognizes that a host country has jurisdiction over crimes committed by U.S. military-attached civilian employees and families. This was revealed by JCP Inoue on October 27 at a House of Councilors Judicial Affairs Committee meeting.

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