DEBITO.ORG
Arudou Debito/Dave Aldwinckle's Home Page

New ebooks by ARUDOU Debito

  • Book IN APPROPRIATE: A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan
  • Aly Rustom compares treatment of NJ as crime suspect with crime victim

    Posted by arudou debito on February 26th, 2008

    HANDBOOKsemifinalcover.jpg
    ESSAY FROM ALY RUSTOM.  THOUGHTS ARE HIS ALONE.  POSTED HERE TO STIMULATE DISCUSSION. THINK FOR YOURSELVES ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT YOU AGREE.  ARUDOU DEBITO

    Recently, we all heard about the alleged rape of an Okinawan junior high school girl that took place a few weeks ago. Of course, we all did. It was on the front page and made the headline news. Japanese people were shocked and appalled at the incident. The US military apologized and promised to take steps to deter further incidents in the future. The girl is now safe at home with her family.

    However, even before all that happened, there was a more harrowing but unknown crime. This time the criminals were Japanese and the victim was an American. On December 29th, 26 year old David James Floyd, an American tourist, was hit by a taxi in Sendagaya, Shibuya ward around 12:30 at night. The taxi sped off, didn’t bother to call an ambulance, phone the police, take Floyd to the hospital, or even get out of the car to see if he was ok. He just hit him and ran.

    As Floyd was lying on the ground, he was run over by another car only about 5 minutes later. This time, a 19 year old man was driving. Floyd was killed and this man too fled the scene. Both men were arrested, but get this: “due to lack of evidence” the taxi driver was released.

    Now honestly, if we compare the above with the Idubor case a terrifying truth comes to light: not only are foreigners framed for various crimes and sentenced without evidence and faulty testimony the Japanese government and its police force protect Japanese who murder foreigners. How is it possible that the Japanese government found Mr. Idubor guilty and the taxi driver innocent? The taxi driver is guilty of at least 2 crimes: hit and run, reckless endangerment, and a few more. The 19 year old is guilty of involuntary manslaughter at least. However, the taxi driver is free and I’ll bet you the 19 year old will get a slap on the wrist- if that.

    This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this happen when a foreigner is murdered. Lucy Blackman’s killer was acquitted of her murder, and Lindsay Ann Hawker’s killer escaped from the police… or did he? Did they just turn the other way while he escaped?

    The most basic right- the right not to be murdered- and the most basic justice- punishing a killer, is denied to foreigners in Japan. The American military took some steps to try and avoid such instances in the future and the head of the armed forces in Japan bowed and apologized.

    For the murder of 3 young foreigners in Japan, cut down in their prime for absolutely no good reason, what have we got? We can’t even get justice for these people. Not even a conviction, let alone an apology. Is this a civilized government?

    I have traveled around the world, have lived in dictatorships, monarchies, and under tyrannical governments, but even under those regimes, if you murdered someone you would be prosecuted under the law, no matter where you came from. I have never seen a country that condones the murder of foreigners by its own citizens. What really makes me sick to my stomach is that now Japan is trying for a seat in the UN Security Council. Is this really a country that is ready for a veto vote and is ready to make decisions that will affect the entire world? I hope not.
    ENDS

    36 Responses to “Aly Rustom compares treatment of NJ as crime suspect with crime victim”

    1. debito Says:

      観光中の米国人をひき逃げ 容疑の2少年逮捕 渋谷

      2008年02月20日11時06分 朝日新聞

       東京都渋谷区で昨年12月、観光で来日した米国人男性ジェームス・デビッド・フロイドさん(当時26)が車にはねられ死亡した事故で、警視庁は、足立区の水道工事手伝いの少年(19)を自動車運転過失致死と道交法違反(ひき逃げ)容疑、同区のアルバイトの少年(19)を犯人隠避容疑で逮捕したと20日発表した。2人は「人だとは思わなかった」と否認しているという。

       この事故では、最初にはねた江東区内のタクシー運転手の男性(64)が自動車運転過失傷害容疑で現行犯逮捕されたが、直接の死因は少年らが起こした事故として、処分保留で釈放されてい

    2. debito Says:

      19-year-old man arrested over fatal hit-and-run of American tourist in December
      Japan Today Thursday, February 21, 2008 at 06:01 EST
      http://www.japantoday.com/jp/news/428682

      TOKYO — A 19-year-old man was arrested Tuesday for allegedly running over and killing a 26-year-old American tourist on a street in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward in late December and fleeing the scene, the Metropolitan Police Department said Wednesday. The suspect, whose name is being withheld because he is a minor, has denied the allegations, saying he felt a bump but did not think he had hit anyone.

      David James Floyd, an employee of the National Basketball Association team Dallas Mavericks, had just been struck by a taxi and was lying in the street in the Sendagaya district when police allege he was run over by the youth at around 12.35 a.m. on Dec 29. The taxi driver was arrested but later released after police decided against they had no case for willful negligence.
      ENDS

    3. Turner Says:

      Even in light of events like those, I really hope that’s not the intention of the police.

      With regard to the media, I personally don’t think the rape in Okinawa should have received as much attention as it did (though, of course, it was inevitable), but it doesn’t surprise me that a murder in Tokyo didn’t make the national spotlight.

      Lindsay Ann Hawker… still see the wanted posters at every local koban? I’m sure they’re there. Remember, the anniversary of her death is in just a few weeks, and I have no doubt her family will be returning for some updates and answers. Oh wait, there are none.

    4. Kimpatsu Says:

      How is it possible that the Japanese government found Mr. Idubor guilty and the taxi driver innocent?
      Because the police is stuffed full of blatent racists. I have never actually been arrested (and I do wonder whether that is in large part due to my Japanese ability), but I was detained once, after I defended myself against two chinpira who attacked me in an attempted racist assault. (They were trying to make their bones as potential recruits to the yakuza.)
      The police officer who “detained” me–which involved a ride in a black-and-white to the local police station and an interview until 3:00AM–shouted at me in frustration (because I refused to admit I’d done anything wrong): “Gaijin have no rights in Japan!” (Sonds Macarthyesque: “You have only the rights we say you have.”)
      A Japanese lawyer subsequently told me that Japanese police have a very poor knowledge of the law (even where such laws exist–why is racism not illegal?), so they tend to assume on an individual basis that the law supports their own personal prejudices. That certainly explains the patrolmen’s attitudes collectively, but it does not excuse them.

    5. Ke5in Says:

      Hang on – alleged rape in Okinawa … he’s not been convicted of ANYTHING yet!
      Police have poor knowledge of the law? That doesn’t surprise me one little bit.

      This whole situation & story makes me sick …

    6. Martin Says:

      Did the chinpira got into trouble too ? I guess not… You should have asked them to do their job: arrest the 2 losers instead of detaining you, after all you’re a tax payer and they’re paid “to protect and serve” you…

    7. icarus Says:

      The author makes a few good points, but I found these sentences pretty silly:

      Did they just turn the other way while he escaped?

      The most basic right- the right not to be murdered- and the most basic justice- punishing a killer, is denied to foreigners in Japan.

      I have never seen a country that condones the murder of foreigners by its own citizens.

      Can we possibly use any more generalities or make any more ridiculous assumptions? The police here are not without their faults but saying that NJ are fair game for potential murderers is just stupid. Stick with the facts, clearlypoint out what mistakes the police made, and don’t fall victim to over reactive hate mongering.

    8. DM Says:

      Imagine a US Serviceman driving a car that hit a Japanese being released. Can’t imagine it? Neither can I.

      Whether it’s the gyoza poisoning (front page hysteria until it was discovered the poisoning was likely done in Japan, then quiet); the ALLEGED rape of a minor by a US Serviceman (described by a gov’t rep as “unforgivable”, whereas Waseda university rapists were called “virile”); the demand that the US Navy recover and return the boat their submarine hit near Hawaii then fly here to make clear apologies (whereas details regarding the Japanese Destroyer that sunk the fishing boat have been covered up from the moment of impact); crying about 14 abductions by North Korea 40 years ago while today Japan leads the world in both sex trade trafficking and child abductions. The list, sadly, goes on and on.

      The truth is getting out, thanks to the internet the previous fuzzy image of exotic Japan as a quaint and honorable society is quickly being replaced by reality snapshots of racism and hypocrisy, fueled by a racist and hypocritical government and supported by a racist and hypocritical state-controlled media.

    9. Jean-Paul Says:

      “Imagine a US Serviceman driving a car that hit a Japanese being released. Can’t imagine it? Neither can I.”

      Imagine one who was drunk getting off with a $1500 fine because of consistent light punishments for US servicemen offenders -
      http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0XPQ/is_1998_Nov_9/ai_53440586

      Or they get away clean (read the comments, the last one being a ludicrous whitewash – she ONLY ran for 6 miles after hitting children) -
      http://www.japantoday.com/jp/news/359911

      Some are not turned over to Japanese justice -
      http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0XPQ/is_1998_Oct_12/ai_53098432

      You are clearly wrong about this case as US servicemen have gotten away with this type of thing many times during the postwar period. It can be pointed out that cases that clearly contradict what you present as absolute fact (or cannot imagine) are easily available on a simple Google search let alone by turning to, say, the Okinawa Times archives.

      Waseda rapists were called virile, not by the government, but by one politician, a single House of Representatives member, who was roundly condemned in the Japanese media. In the US case, the rape was of a minor and has reminded people of the shocking gang rape of a 12 year old (and likely attempted murder, she was beaten and left for death) in 1995. US servicemen in Okinawa commit “heinous” crime (kyouakuhan) at a rate of about 7 times the norm for the population. This is a shocking statistic and should adequately explain the outrage that breaks out.

      Japanese destroyer + Japanese fishing boat, American submarine + nine dead young people. Domestic problem vs. international incident. After the impact in the recent case, the coast guard and navy deployed 10 ships to search for survivors (2 were missing). The circumstances have not yet been made clear, but this was also true in the US case where people wanted answers about the civilian involvement and what appears to have been gross negligence.

      The United States, Japan, and Australia are the top three countries for sex trafficking in the developed world -

      http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/10/06/MNGR1LGUQ41.DTL

      But articles like this one suggest that human trafficking is far worse in developing countries. See the statistic of 200,000 Nepali girls, mostly minors, thought to have been trafficked into India.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trafficking_in_human_beings

      In terms of recent high profile pedophile tourism arrests in Thailand and Cambodia, the major offenders have been Canadians, Brits, and Americans. These individuals are typically identified on the ground in those countries so it is not a Japanese enforcement problem.

      “by reality snapshots of racism and hypocrisy, fueled by a racist and hypocritical government and supported by a racist and hypocritical state-controlled media.”

      If you are going to present criticisms, you should do it with statements that present clear evidence, not prejudiced generalizations. Your comments also represent what can only be called a whitewash of some US misdeeds (one of which is still being investigated). How is what you are doing any different than the comments of the Japanese government and media that you are so vigorously condemning?

    10. DM Says:

      Nice try Jean-Paul. Yes you found a couple of 10 year-old reports where a US Serviceman (or woman) did not get the punishment you think appropriate. Let’s talk about now. There are some 6,000 rapes per year in Japan, taking official figures and multiplying by three for those that go unreported or are settled with jidan. That’s almost 20 per day ~ how many made a splash in the news like the US Serviceman “rape”? And yes a politician called the “rape” “unforgivable” (before there was a trial or conviction). I used scare quotes because the serviceman was released by police today, did the “rape” ever happen?

      No doubt, foreigners are, more and more, the “boogeyman” in Japan. It is like the Old South of the US, where the mere suggestion of a while woman raped by a black man would bring out a lynch mob (but other rapes would be punished by a slap on the wrist). That is hypocrisy, that is a disregard for the victims of all other rapes. That is racism.

    11. Jean-Paul Says:

      “Let’s talk about now.”

      Or less talk about the same thing. You were originally discussing hit and run, were proven wrong (one of those cases being three years ago and those were just three that I found in five minutes, look at the Okinawa Times archives or Okinawa Prefectural Government records for hundreds more such cases going back to 1945) and changed the subject to sex attacks.

      On the subject of sex attacks – If you are going to multiply the number of “heinous” crimes committed by Japanese by three, it goes without saying that the number of heinous crimes committed by US servicemen should also be multiplied by a factor of three. Arbitrariness should be pushed equally all around. In any case, the fact that the rate of offense of US servicemen is so high in terms of violent crime (7 times that of Japanese) and the fact that sex assaults (according to US press surveys) occur in Okinawa at a rate several times that around bases in the USA, makes outrage understandable.

      In addition, using your own statistics – if there are 2000 “official rapes” in Japan each year and that number can be safely assumed to be 1/3 of the “real number”. The number of rapes reported in the USA each year is about 100,000

      http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/offenses/violent_crime/forcible_rape.html

      If the “real number” can be assumed to be about 300,000 that makes the number 50 times higher than Japan’s number or about 20 times higher if you consider that the US population is 2.5 times that of Japan. Rapes are far less common in Japan than in the United States and are more shocking – especially when the victim is underage. In the recent case, there has been no assertion by the girl or the family that a rape did not take place, only that they did not want to pursue charges (possibly out of concern for her emotional well-being) and that the US forces will investigate independently. Since the individual in question has confessed to holding down and kissing the girl, the rape remains “alleged” while a sex assault very clearly did take place.

      “foreigners are, more and more, the “boogeyman” in Japan”

      Proof? There are also more foreigners heading Japanese companies, more foreigners coming to work in Japan, more foreigners on Japanese television, etc.

      “That is hypocrisy, that is a disregard for the victims of all other rapes.”

      We have also discovered elsewhere in Debito’s reporting that there is a hugely high rate of conviction for rape in Japan. I do not see a disregard. If anything, there can be overzealous pursuit. Also, I see a great deal of rape reportage in Japan. The recent US case is unique as the reportage was not only focusing on the case, but also on the OUTRAGE in Okianwa so this multiplied the coverage to a certain extent. However, in other high profile cases of sex assault, such as a 2004 case of a high school baseball club performing a group “chikan”, there as almost saturation coverage.

    12. debito Says:

      After all the brouhaha and lockdown and conviction both in officialdom (Hi Condi and Yasuo) and the media (hi everybody else), here’s the outcome. I’m not excusing past, present, or future crimes by the US Military in Japan (I also believe US Forces no longer belong in Japan), but this time was incredibly botched. (Went to Futenma yesterday, saw the effects of the lock-down). FYI. Debito in Okinawa

      U.S. Marine in Japan Rape Case Freed
      By REUTERS, February 29, 2008
      http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/world/view/20080229-122033/Japan-frees-US-Marine-in-rape-case—-police

      TOKYO (Reuters) – A U.S. Marine arrested earlier this month on suspicion of raping a 14-year-old girl was released by Japanese authorities on Friday, a spokesman for the U.S. military on the southern island of Okinawa said.

      In the latest twist in an incident that had caused outrage in Japan, 38-year-old Tyrone Hadnott was freed after prosecutors decided not to press charges as the girl had dropped the accusation against him, Kyodo news agency reported.

      The arrest had revived bitter memories of the rape of a 12-year-old schoolgirl on the island in 1995, which sparked huge protests against U.S. bases there and raised doubts about the bilateral security alliance.

      “He is in Marine Corps custody. They released him to us,” Lieutenant Colonel Douglas Powell told Reuters.

      The Marines were still investigating the case, Powell said, adding that it was “premature to speculate on any further legal action on our part.”

      Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda told reporters he did not know the details of the prosecutors’ decision but said: “Japan and the United States need to cooperate with each other so that incidents like this will never happen again,” Kyodo reported.

      Hadnott had been arrested on suspicion of raping the girl in a car on Okinawa island, where the bulk of the 50,000 U.S. troops in Japan are based under a treaty signed after World War Two. Police have said he denied raping the girl but admitted forcing her to kiss him.

      “We’ve determined it isn’t appropriate to indict the suspect by applying charges … out of consideration for the victim’s feelings,” Kyodo quoted Yaichiro Yamashiki, chief prosecutor at the Naha District Public Prosecutors Office in Okinawa, as saying.

      “The girl herself wants to be left in peace,” he added.

      A journalist in Okinawa said there had been criticism of the girl on the Internet and that it was possible that her family decided to spare her the ordeal of any trial.

      Fukuda had called the latest incident “unforgivable” and demanded tighter military discipline, but both the U.S. and Japanese governments also moved swiftly to try to limit the diplomatic fallout.

      Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, on a visit to Japan earlier this week, voiced deep regret over the case, while Japanese Defence Minister Shigeru Ishiba said it was important for the two governments to take action to improve the situation in a visible way.

      Hadnott’s arrest, which was followed by reports of other crimes blamed on Marines, coincided with efforts by the Japanese government to persuade local residents to agree to a plan to move the Marine’s Futenma air base from the crowded central city of Ginowan to the coastal city of Nago.

      The transfer, first proposed after the 1995 rape, is central to a broader plan to shift 8,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam to lighten the burden of the U.S. military presence on the island.

      (Reporting by Linda Sieg; editing by Sami Aboudi)
      ENDS

    13. Jean-Paul Says:

      “I also believe US Forces no longer belong in Japan”

      Have you any online writings about why you feel this way? If you do not, can you fill us in? I am interested to hear what you think.

      –Probably mentioned it in passing somewhere. Please do an Advanced Google Search and confine results to my site. Sorry, in between airplane connections. Debito in Haneda

    14. DM Says:

      Jean-Paul, I don’t know what prompted the comparative study with the USA. I thought my point was clear enough — in the 18 days the accused US serviceman was held by police, it can be assumed there were some 400 rapes in Japan. Did any of them get anything resembling the same sort of coverage? No. The “rape” was answered with hysteria because the accused was a foreigner.

      “Since the individual in question has confessed to holding down and kissing the girl, the rape remains “alleged” while a sex assault very clearly did take place.”

      Not “clear” at all. There has been NO COMMENT from the individual in question or his legal representatives. Your conclusion that he “confessed” to whatever is based on media reports which were (maybe) based on statements made by police. Given the fact that no legal counsel is permitted and no recordings made during police interrogations here, along with the very real possibility that the serviceman will now be gagged by the US military, the public will probably never know what happened.

      Back to hit-and-run if you like. I don’t see anything in those links involving a fatal hit-and-run where the driver was a foreigner and no charges were laid. The big question: Are you suggesting that when someone is arrested in Japan, that the police treatment and the media coverage is the same regardless of nationality/ethnicity?

      By the way, I also think the US should get out of Japan, but how would the prospect of the Japanese military taking over what are now US bases go be received in the rest of Asia?

    15. Afro Eric Says:

      Jean-Paul nice work of having statistics work for you. Here is another take:

      Record of postwar fatalities and sex crimes caused by US military in Okinawa

      Here is a short timeline of fatal crimes, incidents and sex attacks that members of the United States military forces have committed in Okinawa since the end of World War II in 1945.

      SEPTEMBER 1955: An American military member rapes and kills a 6-year-old girl in Kadena.
      JUNE 1959: A U.S. fighter jet crashes into Miyamori Elementary School in Ishikawa, killing 17, including 11 children.
      JUNE 1965: A trailer falls from a U.S. military plane during training in Yomitan, landing on a girl and killing her.
      JULY 1966: An American serviceman kills a woman in Kin.
      MAY 1968: An American serviceman rapes and kills a woman on the side of the road in Yomitan.
      FEBRUARY 1969: An American serviceman kills a woman in Koza.
      DECEMBER 1970: A U.S. military member’s car crash sparks rioting in Koza with citizens torching over 70 U.S. military vehicles.
      APRIL 1972: An American serviceman kills a woman in Kitanakagusuku.
      AUGUST 1972: An American military member kills a woman in Ginowan.
      DECEMBER 1972: An American serviceman kills a woman in Koza.
      MARCH 1973: An American serviceman kills a female restaurant worker in Koza.
      APRIL 1973: An American service member is involved in a fatal tank accident in Kin.
      OCTOBER 1974: An American military member kills a woman in Nago.
      MAY 1995: An American serviceman kills a woman in Ginowan.
      SEPTEMBER 1995: Three U.S. military members abduct an elementary schoolgirl in the northern part of the prefecture, keeping her captive in their car before gang raping her. The crime sparks tremendous anti-base sentiment within the prefecture and anti-base rallies are held throughout Okinawa in October.
      OCTOBER 1998: A U.S. Marine kills a schoolgirl in a hit-and-run in Kitanakagusuku.
      JULY 2000: A U.S. Marine breaks into an Okinawa apartment, performing indecent acts on the junior high schoolgirl sleeping inside.
      JUNE 2001: A U.S. military member rapes a woman in her 20s in Chatan.
      MAY 2003: A U.S. Marine rapes a 19-year-old teenager in Kin.
      JULY 2005: An American serviceman indecently assaults an elementary schoolgirl in Okinawa.
      FEBRUARY 2008: A U.S. Marine is arrested for raping a junior high schoolgirl in Okinawa. (Notice that the newspaper reported “raping” and magically forgot to add “alleged.”)

      MARCH 2008 (A.E.’s comment) U.S. Marine released. No sensational reporting of this in the Japanese press (Japanese or English-language).

      So now I ask, where did you get your calculations? See my next post to see if this will help you with your calculations.

      Source: Mainichi Japan? February 13, 2008

    16. Jean-Paul Says:

      You are saying 6000 rapes in Japan per year (there would, of course, be no media reporting of unreported rapes). 6000 / 365 = 16.4 x 18 = 295. Your numbers keep changing.

      Your assertion that the rape got lots of attention because the accused was a foreigner does not hold water. How much reporting of the Ibudor case was there? Absolutely no more than reporting for a Japanese case (was there even any at all? I did not see any). I think that all Debito.org readers can acknowledge this. In that case, being a “foreigner” did not matter in terms of reporting (although it very well may have influenced his treatment which is another discussion). This means, quite clearly, that the reporting in the Okinawa case was due to it being a US serviceman, not a generic “foreigner”. The reporting was dramatically magnified by something that you have neglected to acknowledge in any of your posts – it was followed very quickly by ANOTHER rape allegation (made by a Filipino woman in Okinawa against a US serviceman) and other crimes (drunk driving and breaking and entering).

      The Associated Press is reporting that – “Japanese police earlier said Hadnott had admitted to investigators that he forced the girl down and kissed her but that he denied raping her.” Do you have any evidence that they do not?

      “I don’t see anything in those links involving a fatal hit-and-run where the driver was a foreigner and no charges were laid.”

      Plenty of hit and runs, however, where no charges are laid on US servicemen. There has been a long pattern of this (see the writing of Chalmers Johnson on the issue of the US base presence in Japan). Admittedly, I do not have any FATAL cases on hand (although you did not specify fatal initially). In the recent case, has the 19 year old who killed the American individual not been charged? I have not seen any details about the taxi driver that would allow us to make a decision about his culpability one way or the other. The 19 year old seems to be the major perpetrator in the eyes of police and is being dealt with, as I understand it.

      “The big question: Are you suggesting that when someone is arrested in Japan, that the police treatment and the media coverage is the same regardless of nationality/ethnicity?”

      It is conventional wisdom that police treatment is terrible for everyone. The sky high conviction rates in Japan attest to this. As for media coverage, in some cases that I have compared myself – the Peruvian murder of a young girl in Hiroshima and the earlier Japanese murder of a young girl in Nara – the coverage did seem very much equal. Some Japanese criminal cases (Horie) have gotten more coverage than anything involving a foreigner. In terms of round the clock coverage, some dramatic incidents like the murder of a Japanese mayor, etc. have gotten more significant play than foreign crimes. I’d be really hesitant to use the recent Okinawa case to generalize about media treatment of foreign criminals as it is not only about “foreigners” but more about the specific problems related to the US military. Let’s not forget that the Ibudor case not only did not get saturation media coverage but basically didn’t get any at all. There were 47 rapes by foreigners in Japan last year and I can’t recall ANY getting any more coverage than Japanese cases. In the Okinawan case, if can be argued that the rape is not the news, the outrage is. A quick Google News search reveals that there has been ZERO reporting of other foreign crime rapes in the last month (there may not have been any, but the Asahi and Yomiuri newspapers also have none for the period that their free search covers). This should be acknowledged.

      The problem in reporting of foreign crime in Japan seems to be more about the reporting of “foreign crime” in general (using poor statistics), not the reporting of individual foreign crimes. If non-military rapes are considered, it does not seem to be a major factor.

      “Japanese military taking over what are now US bases go be received in the rest of Asia?”

      China would love it meaning that it would dramatically weaken the position of Taiwan. I favor a US military presence in Japan (as the two countries are very close allies). I don’t see a contradiction between this and my earlier posts, either. I just want to see a presence that is less concentrated in Okinawa and less abrasive for local civilians.

    17. Afro Eric Says:

      Information on the USFJ (Approximate number as of October 2007):

      U.S. DoD Personnel in Japan
      Army 2,386
      Marine Corps 15,433
      Navy 5,991 (less US Navy 7th Fleet)
      Air Force 12,483
      Total Military (Ashore) 36,293

      US Army:
      U.S. civilian personnel 761
      Family members 3,958

      US Marine Corps:
      U.S. civilian personnel 626
      Family member 9,732

      US Navy:
      U.S. civilian personnel 1,142
      Family member 7,488

      US Navy 7th Fleet:
      Military personnel 12,141
      Family members 6,324

      US Air Force:
      U.S. civilian personnel 771
      Family members 19,667

      Department of Defense Facts:

      80% of military members are younger than 35
      Just over half of military members are married
      Almost half of military population is 25 years old or younger
      Women comprise nearly 15% of the military force
      More than 92% of enlisted members have a high school diploma and/or some college experience
      Typical spouse age: 26-34 years
      70% of spouses are 35 years old or younger

      Source: http://www.usfj.mil/

      Here is my response to a blog at Japan, Inc.:

      A Former Marine’s Opinion
      Submitted by Afro Eric (not verified) on February 25, 2008 – 19:44.

      As a father and former-Marine (stationed in Okinawa for 4-years and a Kansai/Kanto resident civilian for 12-years), I find the Staff Sergeant’s actions VERY unbecoming of a U.S. Marine and as a man. My Japanese wife and I planned to purchase property in Okinawa but now that is on hold.

      The Japanese media will continue to have a field day with this. As rightly stated, this is fuel for those that demand the removal of US Forces Japan personnel and bases, various forms of compensation from the US and Japanese governments, and/or a revision of the Status of Forces Agreement.

      Various English language newspapers and blogs in Japan have blasted the “accused” while many Japanese language blogs have blasted the young girl for being out late and leaving with an adult strange; demanded to know why the victim’s parent(s) did not do a better job of parenting; and certain politicians in Okinawa for using the incident to further their political agenda. Very bad press on both sides.

      It does not the matter if the girl was naive, she is a victim. Her parent(s) lacking certain parenting skills? Maybe but their daughter is still a victim. The politicians? Well, stop victimizing the victim. Where are the women’s rights groups when women in Japan need help dealing discrimination, sexual harassment, and mizushobai? Come on, stop picking your battles. Help the young girl and her parents without throwing politics into the mix.

      Lastly, those that live on and around the military bases know that A VERY SMALL percentage of USFJ military and dependents DO NOT get into trouble, especially when it comes to serious crimes. If you compare the latest incidents to what is reported and to Japan as a whole, you will find that the US military has a pretty good track record of staying out of trouble. And yes, I tracked all incidents involving USFJ and USFK. Do not allow the foolishness of a few individuals to cast a bad light on approximately 50,000 US service men and women (and their dependents). The US military has provided a service (freedom, democracy, protection) that many take for granted.

      Remember to be fair in reporting! Punish the guilty but do not “smear” the rest of the U.S. military (and their dependents) or foreigners with a broad stroke!

      Regards,

      AE

      Source: http://www.japaninc.com/node/2920#comment-763

    18. Afro Eric Says:

      JP: This will help you “recalculate” or revise your figures:
      Information Source: Questions about data, calculations and sources used in this article can be directed to the author at mshassett@gol.com. Send comments on this issue to community@japantimes.co.jp

      U.S. military crime: SOFA so good?

      The stats offer some surprises in wake of the latest Okinawa rape claim
      By MICHAEL HASSETT. Special to The Japan Times

      On Friday night, Aug. 18, 2006, at a third-story apartment within a gated community outside Atlanta, Ga., 31-year-old Kendrick Ledet sat contemplating life. And death.

      Ledet was familiar with various forms of high-tech weaponry — particularly the semi-automatic M-16 rifle — but on this day he decided to go low-tech, departing from us slowly by slicing through the arteries in his arms with a knife.

      Moments earlier, this terribly troubled soul had forcefully struck a coworker in the head before strangling her with his forearm. And that was preceded by a violent sexual assault. She was only 22 years old, a student studying marketing at a nearby university.

      Three years before the parents of Lauren Cooper happened upon this awful scene inside their daughter’s apartment, the perpetrator of this crime, Ledet, was among us here in Japan.

      Well, not exactly among us, since he was doing hard labor inside a Japanese prison. From 1996 to 2003 Ledet resided in a Yokosuka jail, where he spent many of his waking hours assembling cell phones and making auto parts for Mazdas and Nissans.

      And before that? Well, if you’ve been in Japan for a while, you probably know the rest of the sordid story: In September 1995, Ledet and two of his buddies from Camp Hanson on Okinawa decided to rent a van, kidnap a 12-year-old Japanese girl, force duct tape over her mouth, bind her hands and rape her repeatedly.

      Disgusted? I was. The memory of this atrocious crime came flooding back to me upon hearing of the latest charge of rape against yet another U.S. serviceman. Moreover, it brought back to mind a remarkable claim I came across while reading about the shift of many U.S. forces to Guam: The assertion that members of the U.S. military are four times less likely than a Japanese citizen to commit a crime on the island of Okinawa.

      Skeptical? I was. Let’s look at the numbers and see what they really tell us.

      First, we need to know how many Japanese and non-Japanese we have in this country, and how many tourists are passing through. In 2006, Japan had a total population of 127.77 million people. Some 2.08 million of those were registered foreigners, and 51,321 of those registered foreigners were U.S. citizens not covered under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between Japan and the U.S.

      A SOFA clarifies the terms under which a foreign military is allowed to operate in another country, and covers service members, their dependents and certain civilian workers. In October 2006, the American military community in Japan consisted of 96,790 SOFA-covered individuals.

      During the same year, Japan welcomed a little more than 4.98 million foreign tourists, and 490,472 of those were from the U.S.

      Now let’s see how many arrests we had that year. The National Police Agency reports 384,250 for penal code offenses, such as murder, bodily injury, bicycle theft and the like. Of these arrests, 14,418 were of non-Japanese, 211 of which were U.S. citizens not covered by the SOFA and 120 of which were SOFA-covered individuals. Illegal immigrants were responsible for 13.2 percent of penal code offenses by non-Japanese.

      In addition to penal code offenses, there were 83,147 arrests for special law violations. Non-Japanese accounted for 12,303 of these, 84 of which were U.S. citizens not covered by the SOFA and 25 of which were SOFA-covered individuals.

      What’s a “special law violation”? Basically it’s a breach of a certain established law, such as the Stimulants Control Law, Firearms and Swords Control Law, or even the Horse Racing Law.

      Now, before we continue, take note that here in Japan an arrest indicates that a person was taken into custody by police. It does not indicate whether the case was prosecuted in court or whether the suspect was convicted.

      A little math gives us an arrest rate of 0.351 percent for Japanese in Japan. For non-Japanese here — tourists and registered residents, excluding illegal immigrants and SOFA-covered individuals — the arrest rate would be a little lower at 0.326 percent, assuming that illegal immigrants were also responsible for 13.2 percent of special law violations. And if we were to deem arrests of tourists to be negligible, the rate for registered non-Japanese residents would surge to around 1.115 percent.

      For U.S. tourists and U.S. citizen residents of Japan not covered by the SOFA, the arrest rate would be 0.054 percent. And if we were to assume arrests of U.S. tourists to be negligible, the arrest rate for U.S. citizens not covered by the SOFA would increase to 0.575 percent.

      A strong argument can be made against the inclusion of transgressions of the Immigration Control Law and the Alien Registration Law, which may inflate arrest numbers of non-Japanese. But Japanese can and do violate these laws. In 2006, of the 35 arrests for violations to the Alien Registration Law, eight of those arrests were of Japanese.

      Moreover, once we move down this path of discounting particular transgressions, we open up a giant can of worms because certain other laws — the Public Elections Law, for instance — could be considered to be inherently biased against Japanese.

      The rates we have calculated so far are for the entire Japanese archipelago. However, approximately 75 percent of the total land area exclusively used by U.S. forces in Japan is located in Okinawa. So let’s narrow our focus to Okinawa Prefecture.

      In 2006, the Okinawan islands had a population of 1,368,000 people, 6,808 of which were registered foreign residents not covered by the SOFA. In 2006, there were 4,188 arrests for penal code offenses and 605 arrests for special law violations. Foreigners not covered by the SOFA were responsible for 44 of these penal code offenses, and we can use partially reported figures to estimate that this group committed around 22 special law violations.

      Doing the math gives us an arrest rate of 0.342 percent for Japanese in Okinawa, a bit lower than the rate for the entire country.

      Now let’s turn to the U.S. military in Okinawa. There are about 42,570 SOFA-covered Americans living in the prefecture. In 2006, 63 SOFA-covered individuals were arrested for penal code offenses. Eleven arrests for special law violations can be estimated. A little math using these numbers gives us an arrest rate of 0.174 percent, about half that of Japanese in Okinawa (0.342) and the entire country (0.351).

      Shocked? I am! It’s particularly surprising when you consider that almost half the U.S. military population is 25 years old or younger. In fact, 80 percent of U.S. service members are younger than 35. And men comprise nearly 85 percent of the U.S. military force.

      If we were to attribute 80 percent of arrests of Japanese in Okinawa to men and women aged 15 to 64, a group that makes up 65.1 percent of the prefecture, the arrest rate among Japanese in this age bracket in Okinawa would rise to 0.420 percent. In fact, we would have to attribute 67 percent of arrests in Okinawa to those under the age of 15 and over the age of 64 before the arrest rate of Japanese in the 15-to-64 age bracket would fall below that of SOFA-covered individuals in the area. Shocking indeed!

      Let’s not pretend, though, that living among foreigners trained to kill is Disney in fatigues. On-base arrest data is not released. Environmental issues and land-use concerns abound. And noise has always been a problem.

      However, there were no arrests in Japan of SOFA-covered individuals for rape or sexual assault in 2006, even though the NPA did arrest 1,094 Japanese for rape and another 4,733 for sexual offenses — that’s nearly 16 a day.

      Many feel that society would be great if we had no need for military forces, but as long as governments don’t feel the same way the fact remains that we have to put them somewhere. All of which raises the question: Is it hypocritical to give such disproportionate media exposure to crimes committed by U.S. service members when the data shows that their adherence to our laws apparently exceeds our own?

    19. Jean-Paul Says:

      Afro Eric, I agree with you that it is a very small portion of Marines that end up committing crimes in Okinawa. Your chart of serious crimes, however, is simply being presented out of context. It is not meant to be comprehensive and I think that you are misusing it in this discussion.

      Beginning in 1955 omits the 130 acts of rape and murder that took place between 1946 and 1955. Information easily available from the Okinawan Prefectural Government.

      I will list just a few of the many other incidents that are omitted. I won’t bother with traffic incidents as there are simply too many. I’ll list only a few of the most serious incidents that you have neglected to provide information on as including sex assaults would present a list of many hundreds.

      Just 6 days after the rape and murder of the 6 year old that you mention in 1955, a 9 year old girl was raped and stabbed repeatedly by an American who was given a life sentence.

      On September 23, 1956 a bar hostess was murdered. The serviceman responsible received an 8 year sentence.

      On October 28, 1959 a hostess was raped, strangled, and her naked body dumped in a field. The serviceman responsible was given a 3 year sentence.

      On July 1, 1961, a hostess was raped and murdered by a pair of Marine deserters.

      On July 3, 1963, a hostess was killed by a serviceman who received an 19 year sentence.

      On July 22, 1966, a hostess was raped and murdered by a serviceman. The Okinawan government does not, at this time, have records as to his fate. This case is in addition to the one that you mentioned.

      On January 24, 1967, an Okinawan woman was strangled to death by a US serviceman. He was sentenced to 35 years.

      On November 20, 1967 an American serviceman bludgeoned an Okinawan woman to death with a hammer.

      On March 3, 1969 an Okinawan woman was killed. The perpetrator was identified as an American but no suspect was arrested.

      On May 19, 1969 a 52 year old Okinwan housewife was raped and murdered. Her assailant was sentenced to life in prison.

      On March 29, 1969 a maid working in an American facility was murdered. The alleged perpetrator was allowed to return to the United States.

      I have stuck only to sex crimes ending in murder in a 15 year period. There are simply too many others so I will leave it at this.

      You also present the Japan Times article that was posted in an earlier thread. Please allow me to repeat my rebuttal from that thread. I believe these statistics to be a vital part of this discussion.

      From the research of Chalmers Johnson (perhaps the dean of US Japan scholars):

      http://www.japanfocus.org/products/details/2021

      “The governor’s petition included the information that, according to Okinawan prefectural police records, during the thirty-year period since Okinawa reverted to Japan’s administration (1972-2002), American troops, Pentagon civilians, and military dependents committed 5,157 crimes in Okinawa, of which 533 were the “heinous” crimes of murder and rape. This works out to 17.7 heinous crimes per year or 1.5 per month. In a famous study comparing rates of military sexual assault leading to court martial around the world from 1988 to 1994, the Dayton Daily News found that Okinawa had a rate of 4.12 per 1,000 U.S. military personnel compared with Camp Pendleton’s 2.0, Camp Lejeune’s 1.75, San Diego’s 1.09, and Norfolk, Virginia’s 0.80. Inamine stressed that this situation has not changed. In fact, since fiscal year 1996, just after the major Okinawan rape incident, the number of crimes committed by servicemen grew at a rate of 1.3 times per year.”

      Very high rates of violent crime and rates of sex assault that are not only high but also far greater than in other contexts. Crime among US troops in Okinawa is not universal by any means, but I do not believe that it can be credibly argued that “US military has a pretty good track record of staying out of trouble” especially for the 1945-1972 period that part of your discussion has focused on.

    20. E.P Lowe Says:

      “according to Okinawan prefectural police records, during the thirty-year period since Okinawa reverted to Japan’s administration (1972-2002), American troops, Pentagon civilians, and military dependents committed 5,157 crimes in Okinawa, of which 533 were the “heinous” crimes of murder and rape.”

      And does anyone have a link to these records?

      Considering how the police love messing with statistics I am extremely sceptical about these figures.

    21. Jean-Paul Says:

      Unfortunately, the records are not online.

      Five points –

      1. the high Japanese figures are backed up by the high Dayton Daily News survey (which by no stretch of the imagination would be motivated to promote a higher number).
      2. the numbers are consistent with pre-1972 crime reports (when Okinawa was American-controlled; there was a drop in crime after 1972, actually).
      3. while the Japanese police have been accused here and elsewhere of playing fast and loose with statistics, it is usually a matter of them not providing proper context (ie. the dramatic rise in the number of foreigners in Japan) rather than making up individual cases. The police have been accused of making cases go away, but not to the best of my knowledge, of creating them out of thin air (apart from inappropriate prosecution). The cases referenced here are those that were successfully investigated and are part of the public record (so the recent Okinawan case would NOT be counted).
      4. Historically, LDP politicians favor the US base presence, a tight US alliance, and don’t want it interfering with their mainland voter base. They want Okinawa to shut up and take it and it is conventional wisdom that the “powers that be” in Japan would actually like to see lower figures, rather than higher ones, to smooth things over.
      5. these numbers have been part of the academic record in both the article linked above and the following book -
      http://www.amazon.com/Blowback-Second-Consequences-American-Empire/dp/0805075593
      The book has been overwhelmingly positively reviewed. Chalmers Johnson is such a big name in the field of Japanese studies (and Blowback was such an ideologically charged book) that a young scholar could easily earn their chops by dissecting it. The book as a whole has been criticized for lacking nuance, but the numbers have stood the test of time. In effect, proving those numbers wrong would be scoring one against one of the top Japan scholars in the USA, a difficult thing to do. Incidentally, I believe that Debito studied under Prof. Johnson.

      ———————–
      –I have, and I trust and share Chal’s analysis. I think his writings have too high a “truth octane” for most people to take. This is not a criticism. It just takes people time to actually wrap their head around his assertions, if they ever get there.

    22. Afro Eric Says:

      my stats are not comprehensive and are only reflecting what the japanese newspapers (english editions) posted. i will try get to some of the stats later on in the week since i am swamped with teaching and prepping for my trip to washington, d.c.

      i’m actually thinking about summarizing a time-series cross-sectional regression analysis based on the data set observations of some of the sources of information posted here and then challenging those findings through analyzing a string of causal-process observations.

      at any rate, i am not a big chalmers johnson fan. his numbers have stood the test of time but i enjoyed hacking at his approach while in grad school. there is alway three-sides to a story and sometimes johnson is stuck on the left.

    23. E.P Lowe Says:

      Hi Jean-Paul

      Unfortunately, the records are not online.

      It is a pity about that.

      I am wary of the Okinawan figures for this reason – if the SOFA protection (in the recent past) prevented US Service-people and their dependants from being handed over to Japanese authorities for interrogation and trial – how can they definitively say there were 533 heinous crimes?

      Would an alleged rape such as that Tyrone Hadnott was recently accused of be recorded as rape under the old SOFA arrangement. I feel it would.

      1. the high Japanese figures are backed up by the high Dayton Daily News survey (which by no stretch of the imagination would be motivated to promote a higher number).

      I have been unable to find any direct links to this study, just the quotes from Chalmers Johnson’s article.

      2. the numbers are consistent with pre-1972 crime reports (when Okinawa was American-controlled; there was a drop in crime after 1972, actually).

      That I do not doubt. I wonder if Okinawa was used for R’n'R during the Vietnam war – that would definitely account for an decrease in crime-level as US troop involvement in the war tailed off around that time.

      3. while the Japanese police have been accused here and elsewhere of playing fast and loose with statistics, it is usually a matter of them not providing proper context (ie. the dramatic rise in the number of foreigners in Japan) rather than making up individual cases. The police have been accused of making cases go away, but not to the best of my knowledge, of creating them out of thin air (apart from inappropriate prosecution). The cases referenced here are those that were successfully investigated and are part of the public record (so the recent Okinawan case would NOT be counted).

      So how were these cases ‘successfully investigated’. I may be misinterpreting the way SOFA worked in Okinawa from 1972-2002, but I was thought that the US Forces investigated and tried their own. Are the Okinawan records referring to US Forces prosecutions?

      4. Historically, LDP politicians favor the US base presence, a tight US alliance, and don’t want it interfering with their mainland voter base. They want Okinawa to shut up and take it and it is conventional wisdom that the “powers that be” in Japan would actually like to see lower figures, rather than higher ones, to smooth things over.

      I can’t argue with you there. I do wonder though if sharing the burden around Japan would (eventually) lower the stress all around.

      5. these numbers have been part of the academic record in both the article linked above and the following book -
      http://www.amazon.com/Blowback-Second-Consequences-American-Empire/dp/0805075593
      The book has been overwhelmingly positively reviewed. Chalmers Johnson is such a big name in the field of Japanese studies (and Blowback was such an ideologically charged book) that a young scholar could easily earn their chops by dissecting it. The book as a whole has been criticized for lacking nuance, but the numbers have stood the test of time. In effect, proving those numbers wrong would be scoring one against one of the top Japan scholars in the USA, a difficult thing to do. Incidentally, I believe that Debito studied under Prof. Johnson.

      Positive reviews do not equate to infallibility, especially in charged subjects. Most opponents of Prof. Johnson’s views probably would not bother to read it. The figures that are of interest to us are probably not so interesting to a critic of Johnson – and might be inaccessible or hard toget (Okinawan records, Dayton Daily News).

    24. E.P Lowe Says:

      Eric

      i’m actually thinking about summarizing a time-series cross-sectional regression analysis based on the data set observations of some of the sources of information posted here and then challenging those findings through analyzing a string of causal-process observations.

      That’s quite a mouthful! Do you have a layman’s description of what you intend to do, and what variables you intend to use?

    25. DM Says:

      Jean-Paul,

      Respectfully, you are arguing statistics against reality.

      Admittedly, my perceptions on the demonization of foreigners emerge from living in Japan and observing Japanese society, and thus are empirical. While there might not be any case studies or statistical arguments to communicate, for example, that convenience store cash registers display only one foreign-language sign and it warns about change-swindlers; or the foreign-language signs at ATMs similarly warn of criminal activity; or that police, courts and media handle non-Japanese detainees differently from Japanese, my experience and observations inform an opinion that there is a widespread bias against foreigners in the social environment here and that this is strongly supported by the Gov’t, the NPA and mainstream media.

      I am here to offer my opinion, not to try and outscore others with case study tallies or play with statistics.

    26. Jean-Paul Says:

      A little more food for thought -

      In Japan in 2005 there were 2,853,739 criminal offenses of which 12,567 were “heinous” (kyouakuhan). That is about 1 in 227 crimes. According to Chalmers Johnson’s statistics, the rate of “heinous” crime to crime for US servicemen in Okinawa is around 1 in 10. In addition, none of these statistics include “on base” stats (where US servicemen spend most of their time).

      “at any rate, i am not a big chalmers johnson fan. his numbers have stood the test of time but i enjoyed hacking at his approach while in grad school.”

      Did you publish your results? If your professors had confidence in your work, why not?

    27. Jean-Paul Says:

      “I am here to offer my opinion, not to try and outscore others with case study tallies or play with statistics.”

      So you mean that you are here to tell people what you think without offering any specific evidence? That’s fine, but don’t expect people to blindly accept generalizations without offering counterpoints. You are arguing that there is far more attention paid to foreign crime in Japan than Japanese crime. I brought up the Ibudour case (no coverage) in an attempt to refute this. You suggested that foreign rapes get far more coverage, etc. and I believe that I have disprovend this point. You can follow this up by searching Japanese news sites at any time for “foreign rape” coverage. There is almost none, no more than Japanese rapes, unless the it fits with another problem like the Okinawa situation.

      In terms of coverage, how about this – according to Amazon.co.jp – books about crime published in Japan since the beginning of 2007 – 202. Books about foreign crime published since the beginning of 2007 – 2. I’d hate to break it to you, but this counts as empiricism as well. It does not invalidate your experience, but I think that opinions need as much objective context as we can provide. Otherwise we are just playing a game of “my anecdote is better than your anecdote”.

      You may also have noticed that in this and other threads I have commented that reporting of the foreign crime wave in Japan is problematic and that more critical coverage of police stats is needed. I’m not trying to whitewash anything here but the problem is not nearly as one-sided as your anecdotes suggest.

      “then challenging those findings through analyzing a string of causal-process observations.”

      This last part is an overly complicated way of saying that he is going to look at things case by case to challenge the statistics. It is called qualitative cherry-picking, unless a large enough sample is used.

      “Would an alleged rape such as that Tyrone Hadnott was recently accused of be recorded as rape under the old SOFA arrangement. I feel it would.”

      It would not, we can track these cases through to court marshal or trial in Japan.

      “Positive reviews do not equate to infallibility, especially in charged subjects. Most opponents of Prof. Johnson’s views probably would not bother to read it. The figures that are of interest to us are probably not so interesting to a critic of Johnson – and might be inaccessible or hard to get (Okinawan records, Dayton Daily News).”

      A better question would be, do you have any grounds to dismiss the statistics reported by a established / famous academic? Peer review and editing is supposed to check numbers, etc. The overwhelming position of American academics is that sex assault and other crimes by US servicemen in Okinawa are unacceptably high and a source of needless stress for the civilian population.

      Incidentally, a series of incidents during the curfew should give some more indication of why Okinawans may be pissed off -

      http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/latest-arrest-in-marine-crime-spree/2008/03/03/1204402330718.html

      In any case, Afro Eric – I think that if you do want to challenge the statistics, you should write you response up in academic format (you have graduate training so this seems like a natural outlet) and publish them in a scholarly format – Japan Focus sounds like a good place. Trust me, if you can prove that crimes in Okinawa have been exaggerated, this will be an important academic issue and will get considerable attention. I think that there is too much work going into this for a simple blog comment. In short, if you think that you can prove Chalmers Johnson wrong, that is a big deal. Proving me wrong here in a now two week old and largely forgotten thread here on Debito’s site does not mean very much.

    28. Afro Eric Says:

      E.P., sorry. J.P., thanks. I basically want to look at certain incidents that happened over a specific period of time and throw in a certain things (branch of service, age, rank, U.S. interests, location, etc.).

      Re: proving that certain stats are damn lies, partial truths, and a higher variation of shiatsu is challenging but i figure that i have nothing else to do (that could cause trouble). why not start another fire and see what burns? i presented my thesis statement to my profs and they urged me to pursue this. one colleague asked if i wanted to go up against chalmers johnson but what the heck. i know that i am not by no stretch of the imagination in the same league but i will focus on different things since i lived and served (and currently work) with US military personnel in Okinawa, mainland Japan, and in the US for a period stretching from 1981 to present. i also believe in the “ura” or underground/behind the scenes methods of digging for information. in my former profession, i learned and observed much from a position that many have not ventured.

      at any rate, no joy trying to prove anyone wrong on a blog. honest debate and practice for the big leagues.

    29. E.P Lowe Says:

      Hi Jean-Paul

      In Japan in 2005 there were 2,853,739 criminal offences of which 12,567 were “heinous” (kyouakuhan). That is about 1 in 227 crimes. According to Chalmers Johnson’s statistics, the rate of “heinous” crime to crime for US servicemen in Okinawa is around 1 in 10. In addition, none of these statistics include “on base” stats (where US servicemen spend most of their time).

      I don’t think any comparison can be drawn between the two sets of statistics because:

      1. One set of figures is covers a historical time range, the other is data for a recent year. Consider how the Japanese Police have started to crack down on drunk driving, where there was a blind eye turned in the past. This must have had an effect on the number of “non-heinous” crimes reported in the 2005 figures.

      2. As you stated yourself – US personnel spend a great amount of time on base – where I’d guess a lot of “non-heinous” crimes would likely be committed. Even if a “non-heinous” crime is committed off base – what is the likelihood that it will not be reported because the offended persons/organisations can’t be bothered pursuing a case where there is no chance of ‘satisfaction’?

      3. Societal differences – to take an extreme case how likely are US serviceperson to try an “Ore-ore” type scam on an old lady? Crimes likely in wider society may be unlikely among foreigners.

    30. E.P Lowe Says:

      “Would an alleged rape such as that Tyrone Hadnott was recently accused of be recorded as rape under the old SOFA arrangement. I feel it would.”

      It would not, we can track these cases through to court marshal or trial in Japan.

      We’ll have to agree to disagree then. Of course, if we could get a look at the Okinawan Police Records mentioned in Professor Johnson’s article and match ‘heinous’ crimes against outside records it may be that I change my mind. I do note that Professor Johnson does not elaborate on the Okinawan figures quoted in “THREE RAPES:The Status of Forces Agreement and Okinawa”. In fact there isn’t even a reference to the records – just to their presence in the Governor’s petition.

      As has already been noted by Debito in the NPA “Foreign Crime down – so let’s crack down” story –
      “This is no longer anything even approaching a scientific method. Or even a logical method. It’s clearly just a political method. And the Japanese press swallows it whole.”

      I suspect the same mindset is in effect in Okinawa. The Police records were quoted in a letter from the Governor – a political document. That makes at least the interpretation of the figures suspect in my mind.

      “Positive reviews do not equate to infallibility, especially in charged subjects. Most opponents of Prof. Johnson’s views probably would not bother to read it. The figures that are of interest to us are probably not so interesting to a critic of Johnson – and might be inaccessible or hard to get (Okinawan records, Dayton Daily News).”

      A better question would be, do you have any grounds to dismiss the statistics reported by a established / famous academic? Peer review and editing is supposed to check numbers, etc. The overwhelming position of American academics is that sex assault and other crimes by US servicemen in Okinawa are unacceptably high and a source of needless stress for the civilian population.

      I am not “dismissing” – I have doubt. If it’s obvious that one of the set of quoted figures were not even available to the academic (those in the petition), and they seem excessively high – then yes – I will doubt them. If I had the figures, and the unavailable Dayton Daily News article I could actually make an informed decision. NOTE that I don’t disagree with you regarding sexual assaults by US servicemen being unacceptably high – I just feel the Okinawan Police records seem excessively high.

      Note peer review is not infallible, the cases of Jan Hendrik Schön and Woo-Suk Hwang are prominent cases. They are extreme cases – involving fraud, but errors and lack of references may not be picked up in all cases.

      I’ll finish this part by noting that I cannot find any reference on google scholar to a publication of Professor Johnson’s paper in a mainstream journal. Academic peer review might not have come into it.

      Incidentally, a series of incidents during the curfew should give some more indication of why Okinawans may be pissed off -

      http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/latest-arrest-in-marine-crime-spree/2008/03/03/1204402330718.html

      That references only one incident – not a series.

      Proving me wrong here in a now two week old and largely forgotten thread here on Debito’s site does not mean very much.

      I fail to see how the age of the thread comes into the equation. If Afro Eric can give us a statistical analysis supporting his views in this thread I would love to see it.

    31. Jean-Paul Says:

      To EP -

      It seems that you won’t believe the statistics so, yes, we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

      “I don’t think any comparison can be drawn between the two sets of statistics”

      I think that a relative comparison can be made in terms of “shock” to the local population. In addition, I posted that as a partial response to the Japan Times piece. Yeah, the US figures presented there are low. However, a VERY high part of that low figure is “heinous”. I think that is a relevant point. In essence, the recent Japanese reporting of police stats on foreign crime ignores a very important context – the massive rise in the foreign population. In an identical manner, the JT piece does not contextualize its stats as there is no reference to what portion of crime is serious and, as you said, most Marines really can’t commit crimes that require Japanese ability.

      “I’ll finish this part by noting that I cannot find any reference on google scholar to a publication of Professor Johnson’s paper in a mainstream journal.”

      Japan Focus is a mainstream academic journal. Just look at the editorial board – it reads like a list of top scholars. I’ve not seen their review process criticized to this point.

      “That references only one incident – not a series.”

      Here is the extended AFP article –
      http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jfD6coSv8CF8BgFPqG6VKTEQN2zw

      “If Afro Eric can give us a statistical analysis supporting his views in this thread I would love to see it.”

      My point was that I’m a bit concerned about Afro wasting his time on what seems like a time consuming project, only to post it here. If he does it, it deserves a bigger forum. Also, if he submitted it to an academic journal like Japan Focus, it would receive professional critique, not what we can provide here with limited time and resources. If he does do it, I would be interesting in seeing some preliminary analysis here, however.

      In any case, the stats that I have seen do suggest a drop in this type of crime after the period of the two surveys (early 1990s for DDNews and 2002 for the police stats). Why? Well, the US forces acknowledged a problem and took steps to deal with it (these steps are continuing now). Try to obscure the problem and nothing changes.

    32. Bryce Says:

      “Respectfully, you are arguing statistics against reality.”

      Tee hee.

      “I have been unable to find any direct links to this study, just the quotes from Chalmers Johnson’s article.”

      If anybody else really does believe Johnson’s figures on U.S. military rape on Okinawa relative to the same elsewhere were made up (or something), I believe the Daytona Daily News Article was also published in “The Nation”, June 1, 1996. This should be fairly accessable if you have a good library.

    33. Bryce Says:

      Beg pardon – Jul. 1, not Jun. 1.
      http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-18433321.html

      And the Nation article doesn’t show differences between Okinawa base rape and rape elsewhere, although it does reveal the robust methodology behind the study. For the Okinawan figures, you need to go to the original article:

      Russell Carollo and Jeff Nesmith, “Ugly American: Japan Bases Have High Rate of Sex Cases,” Dayton Daily News, October 8, 1995, p. 4A.

      Nevertheless, the Nation article does clearly show that rape is not a crime reserved solely for Japanese women on Okinawa so arguments that “the rate is lower for marines than it is for the general population, therefore the U.S. forces conduct themselves with more honour than even the permanent Okinawan population” are based on false stats. If anything the incidence of rape is higher.

    34. E.P Lowe Says:

      E.P., sorry. J.P., thanks. I basically want to look at certain incidents that happened over a specific period of time and throw in a certain things (branch of service, age, rank, U.S. interests, location, etc.)

      Sounds good.

      at any rate, no joy trying to prove anyone wrong on a blog. honest debate and practice for the big leagues.

      Good luck with it!

      (Debito, would this kind of paper be suitable to be referenced in this blog? Just wondering how to get timely notice of Afro Eric’s work if it comes to fruition.)

      –I don’t mind if Eric’s paper is referenced in this blog, of course. If it’s information that will help make life better for people over here, bravo. Debito

    35. E.P Lowe Says:

      Hi J.P.

      “I don’t think any comparison can be drawn between the two sets of statistics”

      I think that a relative comparison can be made in terms of “shock” to the local population. In addition, I posted that as a partial response to the Japan Times piece. Yeah, the US figures presented there are low. However, a VERY high part of that low figure is “heinous”. I think that is a relevant point. In essence, the recent Japanese reporting of police stats on foreign crime ignores a very important context – the massive rise in the foreign population. In an identical manner, the JT piece does not contextualize its stats as there is no reference to what portion of crime is serious and, as you said, most Marines really can’t commit crimes that require Japanese ability.

      I agree with you on the “shock” point, and the high percentage of “heinous” crimes (though I still have doubts about the actual figures, as you know.)

      To be honest, I think that any incident now in Okinawa is going to get a large-scale public protest. I still read about protests about the emergency landing of a US helicopter in an Okinawan university campus a few years ago. There was an emergency landing of a Self-Defence Force helicopter in an elementary school sports ground a few weeks ago. There were no protests that I could discern.

      There’s probably a vicious circle in action. Complaints about incidents lead to further alienation of the parties concerned lead to further incidents lead to even more alienation…ad infinitum.

      “I’ll finish this part by noting that I cannot find any reference on google scholar to a publication of Professor Johnson’s paper in a mainstream journal.”

      Japan Focus is a mainstream academic journal. Just look at the editorial board – it reads like a list of top scholars. I’ve not seen their review process criticized to this point.

      Well, the article, though well informed did have some hyperbole in it. It didn’t strike me as the language expected in an academic journal. Maybe that’s to be expected, as there is a very political bent to it. Also, my academic fields (back in the day) were physics and engineering. I’m probably looking at it from a more rigid “prove it” philosophy. No disrespect to Prof. Johnson is intended – it is an interesting article.

      “That references only one incident – not a series.”

      Here is the extended AFP article -

      Cheers.

      “If Afro Eric can give us a statistical analysis supporting his views in this thread I would love to see it.”

      My point was that I’m a bit concerned about Afro wasting his time on what seems like a time consuming project, only to post it here. If he does it, it deserves a bigger forum. Also, if he submitted it to an academic journal like Japan Focus, it would receive professional critique, not what we can provide here with limited time and resources. If he does do it, I would be interesting in seeing some preliminary analysis here, however.

      Seconded.

      In any case, the stats that I have seen do suggest a drop in this type of crime after the period of the two surveys (early 1990s for DDNews and 2002 for the police stats). Why? Well, the US forces acknowledged a problem and took steps to deal with it (these steps are continuing now). Try to obscure the problem and nothing changes.

      I can’t disagree with you there. The problem is that with the current climate in Okinawa, and the obsession in Japanese society with ‘group punishment’ the next time something happens the laws of statistics will be ignored and more punishment will be called for – even if measure are working as best as they can. Leading to another round of the vicious circle…

    36. E.P Lowe Says:

      Hi Bryce,

      “I have been unable to find any direct links to this study, just the quotes from Chalmers Johnson’s article.”

      If anybody else really does believe Johnson’s figures on U.S. military rape on Okinawa relative to the same elsewhere were made up (or something), I believe the Daytona Daily News Article was also published in “The Nation”, June 1, 1996. This should be fairly accessable if you have a good library.

      I’ve found some of the data from that article posted here:

      Haven’t had a chance to look at them yet.

    Leave a Reply