In response to a criminal case involving a U.S. civilian base worker who was arrested for allegedly abandoning the body of a Japanese woman (20) in Uruma City, Okinawa Prefecture, the National Governors’ Association for Military Facilities, which is made up of 14 governors (chaired by Kanagawa Prefectural Governor Yuji Kuroiwa) whose prefectures host U.S. military bases, submitted a written request to the foreign and defense ministries as well as the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo calling for revising the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA).
In the request, the governors made the following requests: (1) that the U.S. forces take effective, thorough, and concrete measures to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents; (2) that both the U.S. and the Japanese governments immediately takes actions to revise the SOFA; and (3) that the two governments reduce base-hosting burdens on related prefectures including Okinawa. “As an association of governors of prefectures hosting bases, we strongly urge the two governments to take effective measures,” said Chairman Kuroiwa.
“The fundamental solution is to revise the SOFA,” said Okinawa Deputy Governor Mitsuo Ageda after submitting the written request. “Unless we change the attitudes of U.S. military service members and civilians by revising the SOFA, similar incidents will continue to happen.”