2007 Indictment Rate for USFJ Crimes

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The Justice Ministry has released statistics showing the numbers of cases indicted and dropped over crimes and other incidents involving U.S. military personnel in 2007. Public prosecutors indicted 48.6% of all cases, including those violating the Road Traffic Law and other specific laws. However, when it comes to criminal cases like robberies and thefts, the indictment rate was extremely low at 13.3%. 

In the breakdown of indicted crimes, traffic law violations were overwhelming at 286 cases, followed by vehicular manslaughters at 30 cases and bodily injuries at 7 cases. Among dropped cases, vehicular manslaughters topped at 255 cases, followed by thefts at 44 cases and destructions and secretions at 9 cases. The Japan Peace Committee and Seiken Akamine, a House of Representatives member of the Japanese Communist Party, made a request to the Justice Ministry on Nov. 5 for a data file of indicted and dropped cases pertaining to crimes and other incidents involving U.S. military personnel. The ministry complied with the request.

Jun Chisaka, chief of the Japan Peace Committee’s secretariat, noted: “The Justice Ministry explained that the indictment rate of crimes involving U.S. military personnel is higher than that of crimes in Japan. In fact, however, there are more dropped cases than those indicted.”

Based on a Japan-U.S. accord, Japan cannot exercise its jurisdiction unless Japan informs the United States within 10-20 days of its intention to do so. “Traffic violations can be confirmed on the spot,” Chisaka said. He added: “But when it comes to negligence resulting in death or injury, it will take time to get circumstantial evidence and to find relevant facts. Prosecutors probably can no longer indict such cases after a certain period of time.”

Crimes and incidents involving U.S. military personnel in 2007

 

 

Indicted

Dropped

Criminal cases

Interference with police duties

1

Trespassing

1

4

Document forgery

1

Rape

1

Rape resulting in death or injury

1

2

Murder

1

Injury

7

3

Injury resulting in death

1

Violence

1

3

Negligence resulting in death or injury

2

1

Vehicular manslaughter

30

255

Other negligence resulting in death or injury

1

1

Duress

1

Theft

3

44

Robbery

5

Robbery resulting in injury

1

1

Fraud

2

Misappropriation

4

Destruction, secretion

4

9

Other crimes

1

6

Subtotal

53

345

Specific cases

Traffic law violation

286

17

Narcotic & Psychotropic Drug Control Law violation, Opium Law violation

2

Stimulant Drugs Control Law violation

1

Cannabis Control Law violation

3

2

Customs Law Control violation

1

Swords & Firearms Control Law violation

4

6

Other crimes

2

Subtotal

298

26

Total

351

371

(Note) Dropped cases are those not indicted despite Japan’s primary jurisdiction.

Source: RYUKYU SHIMPO, Pg. 2, 01 Dec 08

 

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