Thursday, November 13, 2008

Small World

I'm trolling the internet trying to find demographic information for Okinawa's prison population for an upcoming United Nations University presentation and I came across this article:

Former Marine who sparked Okinawa furor is dead in suspected murder-suicide (Stars and Stripes)

If you read the article you learn that:
  1. The United States had to agree to give back the land of Okinawa to Japan at an accelerated rate in order to reduce the diplomatic strains caused by the gang rape of a 12 year-old girl committed by several U.S. Marines stationed here - and,
  2. That one of the guys who committed this heinous crime (and played no small role in shaping the international security policy of the worlds largest military power) killed himself after he raped and murdered a woman who went my university and lived right down the street from me.
How about that?

Yet another reason for me to really commit to doing my best while living here in Okinawa; of course I can in no way reduce the heaviness of these events, I can actively seek to reduce the burdens of those around me.


  1. Unfortunately, these incidents are not a recent development. My mother-in-law lived in Japan on an USAF base near Tokyo in the mid-60's. She told me about an incident where a young girl was raped by one of the soldiers. The fact that Japan has no legal recourse is stunning. Not surprising, though. The fact that such a stipulation was made makes me wonder if the military foresaw the probability of these crimes. It's just so despicable.

  2. The policy that has been in effect since the occupation began is that basically only the most egregious offenses will be pursued by the Japanese authorities.
    I have a Google News feed just for Okinawa and pretty consistently throughout the year there has been a stream of reports about misconduct by the occupying forces in Japan. Then, tit-for-tat, there will be an article with a title like, "Marines Enjoy Local Flavor in Bullfighting."
    I'm sympathetic to the service members here - they are not only here in service to their own country but are also, due to the regional security policy of the U.S., here in service to the government of Japan - but are not given any of the benefits of their service to Japan.