A few weeks ago the Asahi News on-line reported the following:
At least about 10,000 incidents or accidents related to the U.S. Forces had occurred in the country in the ten years up to the last fiscal year; it was turned out by statistics of the Ministry of Defense etc. that the compensation given to victims paid by Japan went up to over 380 million yen. While it seemed that in many cases the responsibility was not on
Japan, yet it had to pay because a contribution percentage had been decided by the Status
of Forces Agreement signed between Japan
A call for agreement amendment was deep-rooted in Okinawa where U.S. bases had
concentrated and half of these cases happened there. U.S.
According to the Ministry of Defense and the Okinawa Prefecture, in the 2004 -13 fiscal years, there were in total 9,962 incidents and accidents including the crash of a U.S. Forces plane, traffic accidents by U.S. Forces staff or army’s civilian employees, burglar and sex crimes, all could become the target for public compensation. Among them 2,138 incidents happened during official activities, 7,824 cases were non-official. Among them about 48% occurred in
The compensation to victimized residents was about 2,030 million yen in total, among them the incidents and accidents related to official activities was about 1,500 million yen. According to the Status of Forces Agreement between
Japan and the , an
incident of official activities nature, even if the responsible was on the side
of the U.S. Forces, the Agreement had decided that the Japanese government had
to pay 25%. Contribution percentage would be 50% if both sides were
was in a system of paying 25% or 50%. Japan
Supposed that in these ten years all the accidents occurred were due to official activities with the responsibility solely on the side of the U.S. Forces, of the about 1,500 million yen paid, in calculation
had to pay about 380 million.
Regarding the helicopter plane crash occurred in August, 2004 at the Okinawa
International University (Ginowan), which would be its tenth years on 13th
(August) after the happening, while it was presupposed that Japan was not
responsible yet it had to pay 25% of the about 270 million yen compensation. Japan
On the other hand, the compensation contribution percentage was not specified in the Status of Forces Agreement regarding incidents and accidents due to non-official activities.
Lawyer Tsutomu Aragaki who had dealt with many lawsuits on incidents and accidents of the U.S. Forces in Okinawa pointed out that "after the helicopter accident in
Okinawa International University,
the situation that U.S. Forces-related incidents and accidents continued to occur
in Okinawa has not changed. The mechanism in
which Japan’s revenue is
used to pay for law breaking incidents happened in official activities which the
U.S. Forces had responsibility is amusing; the should pay for the full amount".
It seems that the Status of Forces Agreement signed between
and the U.S. is unfair to
the tax-payers in Okinawa.