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HOME  > Past issues  > 2009 November 25 - December 1  > Okinawa’s local assembly protests against hit-and-run caused by U.S. serviceman
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2009 November 25 - December 1 [OKINAWA]

Okinawa’s local assembly protests against hit-and-run caused by U.S. serviceman

November 26, 2009
Angered by a fatal hit-and-run accident allegedly caused by a U.S. military serviceman, Okinawa’s Naha City Assembly on November 25 unanimously adopted a resolution urging the prime minister to drastically revise the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA).

It also adopted another unanimous resolution protesting against the accident and will send it to the U.S. ambassador and the commander of the U.S. forces in Japan.

On November 7, a 66-year-old man died in a hit-and-run accident at Yomitan Village, Okinawa. Police later confirmed a U.S. serviceman stationed at the U.S. Army Torii Station as the suspect, who is now in the custody of the U.S. forces.

Pointing out that in Naha City three residents had been involved in another hit-and run caused by U.S. military personnel in April, the resolution expressed, “Residents express their anger at the repeated accidents caused by U.S. servicemen.”

“Residents’ lives and properties are being threatened daily by the crimes and accidents which occur one after another because of the presence of U.S. bases,” said the resolution, and called for a full investigation into the accident, handover of the suspect to the Japanese police, and a drastic reduction of U.S. bases and U.S. forces in Japan.

Similar resolutions were adopted by the assemblies of Kadena Town and Kitanakagusuku Village.

On November 24, the Kadena Town Assembly chair and other assembly members visited the Naha Defense Bureau and the U.S. Army Torii Station calling for a full-scale investigation into the accident and handover of the suspect to Japanese authorities. According to Japanese Communist Party assembly member Tanaka Koei, a Naha Defense Bureau official withheld his comment, and the Torii Station vice commander indicated that the U.S. forces will cooperate with the investigation in accordance with the SOFA.
- Akahata, November 26, 2009
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