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USG says no USFJ civilian employees exempted from U.S. jurisdiction under SOFA in 2017

The U.S. government reported to the Japanese government on Jan. 15 that no civilian employees of U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) were exempted from U.S. jurisdiction under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) in the past year. Under SOFA, the U.S. has primary jurisdiction over these employees.


This report was submitted based on the regular reporting duty stipulated under a supplementary accord signed in the aftermath of the rape and murder of an Okinawan woman by a USFJ civilian employee in 2016. This accord marked its first year of implementation on Jan. 16.


According to the report, there were 7,048 civilian employees in Japan as of the end of October 2017, including 2,341 contractors. The Foreign Ministry’s records show that as of the end of 2016, there were around 7,300 civilian employees and 2,300 contractors.


A working group was created under the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee to check the qualifications of USFJ civilian employees. The U.S. government verifies their qualifications regularly.

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