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Four children of American servicemen sought for alleged attempted murder

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


  1. Damn. Kids are stupid, I can’t believe that they thought that this is a cool prank to pull.

    Replacing sugar with salt is a good prank, not sticking up a freaking wire that can decapitate and kill people.

    Stupid kids are stupid.

  2. Jimi Jimi

    I’m an American former Air force member from Yokota air base. I’ve been to Okinawa’s Camp Humphrey and Camp Lester as well. My wife is Japanese and we love to travel all over Japan meeting new people and exploring new places. I’ve been face to face with the discrimination and opposition of gunjin in Japan and I gotta say it doesn’t bother me. I pity the ignorant. I love the country like it was my own. I also love the Air force as one of the greatest opportunities to learn about ones self, other cultures, travel the world and have a great job.
    It hurts me deeply to read that 4 American youths could do something like this. With the climate of the military presence in Okinawa and now this, it’s no wonder why local communities protest the presence of the military. And there are so many other violent acts against locals there at the hands of military members which I’ve seen with my own eyes that have gone unanswered.
    I’m from Philadelphia which is home to cultures from around the world and the biggest gripe I’ve had are foreigners not attempting to speak english. I understand the struggles of multi cultural living, but again it doesn’t “really” bother me… but this!, how can I travel Japan introducing myself as a young retired serviceman knowing the history of problems caused by a small category of people. I’m ashamed to mention my station at Yokota AB knowing the perception of the common military member (loud, rude and rowdy) and am left wondering if the ignorance and misconceptions against gunjin are justified…
    I feel it was and still is my personal responsibility as a veteran, as a civilian as a human being to portray a character of pride and respect not only for my country but for the host nations as well. As we’d say in the service “shyte rolls down hill” I feel the only way to combat these problems are to place more responsibility not only on those involved but the guardians and leaders as well. Cooperation with the local law enforcement is a must and sends a clear message that being a service member or Dependant no matter what position, age or rank is held, is that no one is above the law, but in fact is held to higher standards as we are direct representatives of America’s military and America as a whole. Thank you for letting me share.

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