U.S. Consul General in Naha Joel Ehrendreich commented on the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) on Dec. 22 by saying, “It’s not unfair at all. It doesn’t need to be amended.” The consul general made the remarks when he met with a group of prefectural assembly members who visited the consulate the same day to protest against the accident in which a window fell off a U.S. military helicopter [onto the grounds of an elementary school]. Satoru Nakasone, chairman of the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly’s special committee on U.S. bases, conveyed the remarks to the Ryukyu Shimpo after meeting with Ehrendreich.
During the meeting, some prefectural assembly members pointed out that the SOFA is unfair compared with similar agreements between the U.S. military and other foreign nations, such as Italy and Germany.
Ehrendreich replied, “U.S. military personnel and components who committed criminal offenses are facing criminal investigations by the Japanese police according to Japanese law,” demonstrating his understanding that they are dealt with appropriately.