The results of a very dangerous practical joke has led Japanese authorities to seek four children whom of which are dependents of American servicemen stationed at the Yokota Air Base in Fussa, Tokyo. On the night of August 13, 2009 at 11:30PM in western Tokyo, the four teens ages ranging between 15 to 18 extended a rope across a road causing a 23-year-old woman to be knocked from her motorcycle as she made contact with the obstacle.

A digital rendering of the accident scene in which the four youths stretched a rope across the road causing a young woman to be thrown from her motorcycle.
Photo courtesy of Yomiuri Online.

The young woman suffered from a fractured skull as she fell to the ground and as a result Japanese authorities will treat this malicious act of mischief as an attempted murder. On November 24, 2009 Japanese police obtained a warrant for the arrest of the four teens, however the U.S. military has yet to comply.

Shot of the guard shack at one of the entrances to the Yokota Air base in Fussa Tokyo, Japan.
Photo taken by Morio (Wikimedia)

On Tuesday December 1, 2009 authorities in Japan acquired a second arrest warrant and have begun pressing the US military to comply. The teens were apparently identified via video surveillance footage and eyewitness accounts. The apparent surveillance footage displays images of three boys and one girl. When later questioned by police they allegedly acted suspiciously. With the recent hit and run death allegedly involving a U.S. serviceman stationed in Okinawa, this latest incident may add more fuel to the fire when it comes to the U.S. military’s cooperation with local law enforcement in Japan. I can understand to a certain degree how U.S. military officials deal with their own personnel, but I can’t help but wonder if more should be done to those who break both the military code of ethics as well as the local laws of the region where they are stationed. Furthermore, children of U.S. military personnel should be held accountable for their actions even if it means severe sanctions from their host nation. In addition, one of the alleged perpetrators was 18 years of age and is considered an adult and should have known that their actions that evening were extremely dangerous. In addition, as an older member of the group that individual should have set an example for the younger teens. Please let us know your thoughts or comments regarding this topic.

AFP News Story
Asahi Online News Story