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We Protest Against Yet Another Case of Sexual Abuse
Committed by a US Marine!
We Demand a Fair Investigation and Punishment of the Perpetrator, and
Fundamental Resolutions to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls
February 14, 2008
Mr. Yasuo Fukuda, Prime Minister of Japan
Mr. Masahiko Komura, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan
Mr. Shigeru Ishiba, Minister of Defense of Japan
Mr. George W. Bush, President of the United States of America
H. E. Mr. John Thomas Schieffer, Ambassador of the United States of America to Japan
Mr. Bruce A. Wright, Commander of the United States Forces Japan
We are deeply shocked and feel unbearable anger over the rape of a 14-year-old girl by a US marine in Okinawa on February 11. This is yet another brutal sexual abuse by US military personnel following the cases in Okinawa and Hiroshima in last October.
For the past six decades, we have witnessed countless cases of sexual abuse against women and girls around the US military bases in Okinawa and other parts of Japan. Many of these cases were never reported. Many
of these cases were never reported. Even when the victims had the great courage to report these violations, charges were sometimes dropped. Many perpetrators received no or little punishment, thus blocked by the unequal US-Japan Status of Agreement. The Japanese government has utterly failed in taking the necessary measures to prevent these crimes and has instead tried to silence voices of dissidence from local communities, by increasing or decreasing subsidies to those local governments hosting the bases.
We say NO MORE. We cannot accept any plan of realignment and transformation of US forces in Japan to strengthen the US-Japan military alliance, leaving human rights of women and girls and safety of communities in peril. We protest against the US and the Japanese government for allowing yet another sexual abuse by the US troops.
1. To secure a fair and full investigation into the case, and punishment of the perpetrator, while taking consideration of the sensitive nature of sexual crimes.
We are seriously concerned about the attempt to put the blame on the victimized girl. We will never accept any settlement to decriminalize the perpetrator for any â€śfaultâ€? of the sexual assault victim. We demand that bodily and mental care for the victims by experts with sufficient knowledge and experience of dealing with sexual abuse shall
be provided, as well as appropriate support for the families. Also, a fair investigation into the cases should be conducted, with severe punishments of the perpetrators. A sincere apology and compensation for
the victims should also be made. Transparency and accountability of the cases should be ensured, while protecting the privacy of the victims.
2. To take all necessary measures to prevent crime around the bases in consultation with local governments, residents and civil groups.
Mr. Komura, Minister of Foreign Affairs, still prioritizes military alliance over the human rights of women by stating: â€śwe would like to minimize the damage of the case as it is not good for Japan-US alliance, considering sentiments of people.â€? However, it is the military alliance that actually endangers women and girls. We demand that the Japanese government take all necessary measures to prevent crime, including review of the US-Japan Status of Forces Agreement, and creating a plan of action. In doing so, it should make sufficient consultations with local communities and residents around the bases, as well as civil organizations and womenâ€™s organizations.
Asia-Japan Womenâ€™s Resource Center
Womenâ€™s Active Museum on War and Peace
Femin Womenâ€™s Democratic Club