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HOME  > Past issues  > 2011 November 23 - 29  > Court orders US military civilian who killed a Japanese to pay compensation
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2011 November 23 - 29 [US FORCES]

Court orders US military civilian who killed a Japanese to pay compensation

November 25, 2011
The Yokohama District Court on November 24 ordered a U.S. military attached civilian employee, who assaulted a Japanese man resulting in his death, to pay a bereaved family 13.7 million yen in compensation. The court, however, did not charge the U.S. forces with violation of their supervisory obligations.

In 2006, Robert Burns Nolan, a human resources vice-director at the U.S. Yokosuka Naval Base, beat Nakagawa Katsumi to death outside a bar in Yokosuka City in Kanagawa Prefecture.

Nolan was running his own bar just across the Yokosuka base in violation of U.S. Naval directives. When the incident occurred, he was at the bar drinking though on duty.

The judge acknowledged that he breached U.S. regulations by operating an establishment selling alcoholic beverages to the Japanese public and leaving his duty station.

After the court ruling, a sister of the victim said, “I hope my fight in court will prevent similar crimes from occurring.” Her lawyer welcomed the ruling to a certain extent, but criticized it as “conniving at hiding the negligence in regard to U.S. supervisory responsibility.”

On the same day, the victim support group visited the Ministry of Defense and demanded the eradication of crimes committed by U.S. military personnel in Japan.

Ministry officials responded by saying that they will convey the court decision to the U.S. authorities.
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