The prosecution rate of crimes committed in Japan during 2018 by U.S. forces personnel (servicemen, civilian employees, and family members) was 14.5 percent. This excludes the crime of causing death or injury through negligence in the pursuit of social activities such as automobile accidents or the crime of causing death or injury through gross negligence. This was disclosed on May 27 by a survey conducted by the Japan Peace Committee. While 9 cases were prosecuted, 53 were not. The prosecution rate for Okinawa Prefecture was 18.8 percent. According to the peace committee, the overall prosecution rate in Japan for the five years ending 2017 was around 30 percent. The latest disclosure illustrates the low prosecution rate for crimes committed by U.S. forces personnel.
The peace committee pointed out that behind the low prosecution rate is the secret agreement concluded between Japan and the U.S. in 1953 “for Japan not to exercise its criminal jurisdiction over crimes committed by the U.S. military personnel unless they are considered serious.” The committee offered this analysis: “The low prosecution rate is proof that the Japanese government has adhered to the “secret agreement.” (Abridged)