Tokyo, Japan (CNN) – Four American teenagers, all children of U.S. military personnel, have been arrested on charges of attempted murderafter a woman was knocked off her motorbike with rope strung across two poles, Japanese police said.
The four suspects – two 15-year-old boys, a 17-year-old girl and an 18-year-old man – were taken into custody on Saturday, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department said.
They are accused of causing a severe head injury to a 23-year-old restaurant employee by stringing a rope between poles across a road.
U.S. Forces Japan was informed of the August incident in late October, a public information officer said. There was no clear explanation for the delay in the handover of the suspects to police, other than it involved rules between Washington and Tokyo covering U.S. forces and their dependents in Japan.
The U.S. military presence and its impact on Japanese residents have been a thorny issue over the years.
Most recently, residents of the Japanese island of Okinawa, where the U.S. maintains a large military presence, have blamed American troops for crime and noise.
In 2008, a 14-year-old Okinawa girl alleged that a Marine had raped her. The prosecutor released the Marine after the girl decided not to pursue charges. In 1995, a 12-year-old girl was gang-raped by three servicemen. A Japanese court convicted all three men.
Both incidents caused a furor in Japan. Then-Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda called the 2008 incident “unforgivable … It has happened over and over again in the past and I take it as a grave case.”
It is unclear what, if any, role the military can take in the case. The 1960 Status of Forces Agreement between the United States and Japan gives Japan jurisdiction over “the members of the United States armed forces, the civilian component, and their dependents” in cases of offenses committed in Japan and punishable under Japanese law.
The agreement also says the United States must cooperate in investigating such offenses.
Ugh. The Japanese are already tired of American servicemen (and their kids) doing stupid things, but…
I tired of them being they just think how many dollars we could save by bring our troops home for Japan and Europe. As some one said last week on MSNBC once American troops get there we almost always stay forever. Philippines told us to leave and they are better for it and so are we.
I agree with you. The U.S. troops are not needed in Japan anymore.
I don’t the think U.S has “military children”, I believe they are the parents of children of the military. I mean, I live in the U.S. and I have never seen any “military children”, however, I am Puerto Rican, and I’ll knife your ass:).
[I] I agree with Samlar, time for Europe to start defending herself. I also have this stinking suspicion that we’ll be back in there fighting again if they do. Too much History. I don’t think Europe as a whole is capable of it. Individually, they’ll probably just go at it again.
Of course, after typing this I realize how preposterous that sounds, and because of that, I again state, it is time for America to protect her own interests. Europe can take herself. Any group of people that can produce the CERN collider should certainly be able to put together a military that would compliment the freedom and justice the world needs. America needs that. Europe needs that. The World needs that.
[I]I just read too much history, that’s my problem.[/I][I][/I]