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Okinawa prefecture lodges protest with GOJ over robbery involving SOFA personnel

  • June 5, 2020
  • , Okinawa Times, Ryukyu Shimpo
  • JMH Summary

Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo wrote that following the indictment on Monday of two SOFA personnel who are suspected of involvement in the robbery at a currency exchange shop in Chatan on May 12, the head of the executive office of the governor of Okinawa summoned senior officials from the Foreign Ministry’s Okinawa office and the Defense Ministry’s Okinawa bureau on Thursday to lodge a protest over the incident. The prefecture official reportedly told the visitors that the incident was very regrettable because it caused anxiety among local residents. The Okinawa official reportedly called for a drastic review of the U.S.-Japan Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), claiming that the view held by U.S. military personnel and civilian workers that they are protected by the SOFA may lie behind the repeated incidents involving them. The MOFA official reportedly responded that the incident should not have happened and that the ministry will urge the U.S. side to take steps to prevent a recurrence. The MOD official reportedly said that the ministry will call for tightened discipline and additional education for military personnel, and cooperate further with U.S. authorities to prevent such incidents and accidents from happening.

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