US Military bases have exceeded their welcome in Japan. Our country has placed themselves on Japanese soil in the year 1945 towards the end of World War II; which of course was against more than 1 million Okinawan people’s wishes. Throughout the years the main issue the Okinawan people had was their alarming concern over their people’s safety. You would normally think with 47,000 United States troops on the ground, the people would feel safe and protected, but they do not. This is because our troops have been brutally beating and raping an alarming amount of women in that country. Statistics compiled by the police indicate no fewer than 6,000 cases of crime since 1972, including violence and rape. One said case was of an Australian woman who in the year 2002 was raped by a United States sailor. This woman’s name
is Catherine Fisher and she was one of many females to speak up about these heinous crimes in Japan. In 1995 there was even a rape of a 12 year-old by three U.S. servicemen. This case caused such a controversy that it’s a wonder our troops are still in Japan. Though the United States’ military presence on the islands of Okinawa decreased, this has done little or nothing to end the crimes that are still occurring there.
Student Researcher: Loraine Gongon, Indian River State College Faculty Evaluator: Elliot D. Cohen, Ph.D., Indian River State College Source:
Suvendrini Kakuchi, Opposition to U.S. Bases (in Okinawa) Reaches Turning Point, Overseas Territories Review, Nov. 29, 2012. http://overseasreview.blogspot.com/2012/11/opposition-to-us-bases-in-okinawa.html
What is perhaps most disturbing is the U.S.’s response to the commission of these crimes. For example, the punishment for the sailor who raped Ms. Fisher, the Australian woman back in 2002, was an honorable discharge. Meanwhile, in Japan the same sailor was found guilty of his crime.
It is never morally acceptable to abuse a human being by behaving in such an inhumane manner. These servicemen are obligated to protect the people in the land in which they are stationed. While this does not mean all U.S. troops stationed in Japan are inhumane, there have been far too many incidents with little or no repercussions for said criminal offenses.
We are touted as the country of the free but that does not give us the right to go freely unpunished for any crime committed against another. If someone commits a crime it must not go unpunished; and as a world leader, the U.S. needs to do better than this to set a moral example.