List of Main Crimes Committed and Incidents Concerning the U.S. Military on Okinawa - Excerpts
Since the reversion of Okinawa to Japan in 1972, approximately 4,700 crimes have been committed by U.S. military personnel. The relatively serious crimes and incidents concerning US military, from which Okinawan people have suffered are extracted below.
[Translation from the Okinawa Times, Oct.12,1995]
Before the Reversion
Aug.6,1948 Ammunition exploded while the US Navy was loading the bomb stored during W.W.II into cargo-ship at Kabira New Peer. The explosion killed 106 and wounded 76 passengers leaving a nearby ferryboat.
Aug.2,1950 A refuel tank was dropped on the yard of a private house from the US Army aircraft flying over Yomitan Village and exploded, killing one and injuring three.
Oct.20,1951 A fuel tank was dropped on a private house from a US airforce fighter in Makishi, Naha. It burned the house totally, killing six residents.
Sep.4,1955 A six-year-old girl, living in Ishikawa City was found murdered in Kadena area. A US sergeant was arrested and sentenced to death in December. Rycom Compensation Examining Committee informed the bereaved family of the payment of $2000 compensation, one eighth of the amount claimed. Later, the sentence was reduced to 45 years' heavy labor servitude.
Mar.8, 1956 A 28-year-old man crossing the road in Urasoe Village was run over and killed by a Military Police (MP) car. A US serviceman driving the police car was judged 'not guilty'.
Jun.30, 1959 A US Airforce fighter crashed on the schoolhouse of Miyanomori Elementary School in Ishikawa City, killing seventeen pupils and teachers and injuring over 100.
Oct.28,1959 A 23-year-old woman employee of a club for foreigners was strangled to death in Center Street of Koza City. Two days later, a 24-year-old US serviceman was arrested, and sentenced to three years' imprisonment the next year.
Dec.26,1959 A farmer, fifty-five-year-old woman picking up used bullets, was shot to death by a US sergeant in Camp Hansen of Kin Town. The sergeant testified that he took her for a wild boar. US Army decided to pay $2700 compensation to the bereaved family. The sergeant was judged 'not guilty' by court-martial the next year.
Dec.9,1960 An American hunter shot a 73-year-old man to death in Miwa Village mistaking him for an animal.
Feb.1,1961 A twenty-year-old man was shot to death while he was picking up used bullets in the US Army firing training area of Iye Island. US Military Police judged this case a "self-injuring deed".
Jul.11,1961 An 47-year-old employee was murdered with an edged tool in a bar in Henoko, Kushi Village. Two marines, both 20 years old, confessed their crime and one of them was imprisoned for life.
Sep.19,1961 A US serviceman hit four pupils and escaped in Koza City; nine- and ten-year-old schoolgirls were killed. The court-martial sentenced the accused to one-rank demotion and six months' confinement to barracks.
Dec.7,1961 A car driven by US Army jet fighter crashed on a private house in Kawasaki, Gushikawa Village; six citizens killed or injured. US Army paid $623 compensation to the bereaved family.
Dec.20,1962 A US transport aircraft crashed on a private house in Yara of Kadena Town; seven citizens were killed and eight were seriously or slightly injured.
Feb.28,1963 A 12-year-old junior high school boy on the way home from school was hit and killed by a car driven by a 20-year-old US serviceman on Root 1 in Naha City. This criminal was judged 'not guilty' by court-martial in May, which caused a prefecture-wide protest movements.
Jul.3,1963 A 22-year-old woman employee of a diner, was strangled to death. A 19-year-old US Marine confessed his crime and was sentenced to eighteen years' imprisonment by court-martial.
Jan.21,1964 A taxi driver was attacked by a couple of US Military servicemen on the road of Kin Village and was robbed of his taxi.
Aug.10,1964 A 32-year-old man, gathering sea shells on Kuwae beach, Chatan Town, was hit by a stray bullet, and died three days later. US Army paid $2000 compensation to his family, though the family had claimed $6000.
Jan.24,1965 A 28-year-old woman working at a bar for foreigners was murdered at her house in Kin Village. A US serviceman was examined as a suspect by US Army detective organization.
Jun.11,1965 A small size trailer dropped from a US bomber on Oyashi of Yomitan Village during bombing exercise, killing an eleven-year-old schoolgirl. The US Army announced that it was dropped mistakenly. The compensation paid was slightly more than $4,700.
May 20,1966 A jet fighter failed in taking off Kadena base, hit and killed a 33-year-old man walking on the road outside the base. The family was compensated $14,000,ĦĦone fifth of the amount claimed.
May 20,1966 A taxi driver was stabbed to death in Naha City. Okinawa Prefectural Police concluded according to the eyewitnesses that the crime was committed by a US serviceman. The accused was finally kept in custody by US Army.
Jul.22,1966 A 34-year-old woman was found murdered in Shinkaichi, Kin Town. US Army arrested a 19-year-old military deserter as a suspect.
Dec.3,1966 A man trying to arbitrate a quarrel between US servicemen was shot to death in Business Center Street of Koza City.
Jan.5.1967 An Okinawan guard was robbed of a pistol by two US servicemen in the camp of Misato Village. Two US servicemen, after committing burglary and injury in Koza City and in Naha City, were arrested by US Army.
Jan.24,1967 A 32-year-old woman employee was strangled to death in her diner in Shinkaichi, Kin Village. A 19-year-old US Marine was arrested by the US Army and was sentenced to 35 years' heavy labor servitude by court-martial.
Mar.23,1967 A 56-year-old worker was run over and killed by a US Army trailer in Naha naval port. The driver left the dead body alone .
May 4,1967 Rejected oil of US Army was found discharged into four wells in Yara, Kadena Town.
Jul.24,1967 A 31-year-old taxi driver was stabbed to death in Urasoe Village. Futenma Police station arrested a US serviceman and handed him over to US Army.
Aug.2,1967 A 16-year-old high school boy running for his school activity was hit and killed by a US Army vehicle in Enobi, Gushikawa Village. AĦĦ21-year-old US serviceman driving it ran away but was arrested later. He was sentenced to one year's imprisonment with hard labor and discharge from his military service.
Nov.8,1967 A four-year-old girl was run over and killed by a crane of US Army in Gushikawa Village.
Jan.30,1968 A 35-five-year-old maid was killed in a barrack of US Army. A joint investigation meeting of military and civilian police was held on April 1.
Jun.20,1968 A 23-year-old woman employee of diner was raped and heavily injured on the beach of Ginoza Village by a MP on duty.
Nov.19,1968 A B-52 bomber crashed on Kadena Air Base, injuring four residents.
Jul.8,1969 A gas leaking accident happened on the base. Twenty-four army staff members disposed were hospitalized. US Army confessed the disposition of poisonous gas weapons.
Mar.12,1970 Sixty-two pistols were stolen in the base of Henoko, Nago City.
May 28,1970 A 21-year-old woman employee of the army was assaulted on the way to work by a US serviceman in the army post of Yafuso, Urasoe Village. The accused was judged 'not guilty' by court-martial due to lack of evidence .
May 30,1970 A 16-year-old high school girl was assaulted and was stabbed with a knife to serious injury in Gushikawa Village. A 22-year-old US serviceman was arrested by Koza Police and US Army. The criminal was sentenced to three years' imprisonment. Villagers criticized it saying, "the punishment is too light".
Dec.7,1970 On the retrial of a 21-year-old US serviceman, who had been on trial by court-martial under the suspicion of hitting a 51-year-old woman and running away in Itoman Town since September of the previous year, was judged not guilty. US Army decided to pay $17,000 compensation.
Dec.20,1970 The traffic accident caused by a US serviceman raised a disturbance among the crowd in Koza City. 73 US Army vehicles were burned.
Jan.13,1971 Due to the transportation of US Army poison gas, five thousand people living along the route evacuated.
April 23,1971 A 23-year-old woman employee of a diner was struck with a stone to death by a US serviceman in Ohyama, Ginowan City. The suspect was arrested by U.S.Army but was judged 'not guilty' due to lack of evidence.
May 1,1971 A 42-year-old woman was stabbed to death at her home of Kin. US-Japan Joint investigation was pursued on the assumption that the crime was committed by US servicemen.
Oct. 2,1971 A 40-year-old taxi driver was found murdered on the farm road in Mihara, Ishikawa City.
Apr.10,1972 A 25-year-old woman employee of a diner near Awase golf course in Kita-Nakagusuku Village.
After the Reversion
Aug.4,1972 A 37-year-old woman employee was strangled to death by an 18-year-old US servicemanĦĦat a bar in Ojana, Ginowan City. In the following year, the serviceman was convicted to be imprisoned for life.
Sep. 20,1972 At Camp Hansen, a 37-year-old Japanese military employee was shot to death with a rifle by a US serviceman. It was the first murder by shooting within the base after the Reversion. The accused denied the intent to murder at the first trial. On April '74, Naha Local Court gave a decision of "not guilty", judging the accused to be non compos. The accused was accordingly sent back to USA and was taken to the Naval Hospital.
Sep.26,1972 It was revealed that a US serviceman who allegedly killed a 50-year-old Japanese man by running over had been sentenced of "no guilty".
Dec.1,1972 A 19-year-old US serviceman strangled a 22-year-old woman in Koza City. The serviceman was sentenced to be imprisoned for life at the court of first instance.
Mar.18,1973 A 43-year-old woman employee of a diner was strangled to death at her apartment in Koza City. The city police office and the US Army jointly concluded that the murder was conducted by a US serviceman.
Apr.12,1973 A 73-year-old woman picking up bullets at Blue Beach, Kin Village was run over by a tank and killed. The US Army notified the Prefectural Office of exercising the primary jurisdiction asserting that the incident occurred in line of duty.
Jul.10,1974 A 20-year-old man mowing in the military firing range at Iye Village w as shot by two US servicemen. He was wounded at his left hand requiring three weeks to heel. The US Army first declared the waiver of jurisdiction regarding it as an incident off duty. But, it reversed the decision later: the US Airforce Commander at Okinawa notified the Naha District Prosecutors Office that "US side will exercise the jurisdiction because it is a crime committed in line of duty."
Oct.23,1974 A 52-year-old woman manager of a Cafe at Henoko, Nago City was, while sleeping at her cafe, hit to death with a cement block by a US serviceman intending robbery.
Dec. 1,1974 At Wakasa, Naha City, a 24-year-old man on his way home was shot by a US serviceman intending robbery and got injured at his right hand.
Apr.19,1975 Two junior high school girls were raped by a 21-year old US serviceman in Kin Village. This incident became an object of public concern, and the accused was handed over to Japan side after he was indicted. He was later sentenced to six years imprisonment.
Apr.23,1975 Sexivalent chromium ( a kind of heavy metal, a powerful oxidizer) was detected to be discharged from Maki-minato US base. Later, a testimony by a Japanese ex-employee revealed that five people had been sacrificed.
Feb.26,1976 A 40-year-old worker at Maki-minato supply base got seriously injured as a suspect case of poisoning by methyl bromide. Two months later a doctor in Mainland Japan announced that the injury was caused by methyl bromide poisoning.
Dec.29,1978 A US servicemen at the exercise in the Henoko Camp, Nago City made wild firing of machine guns toward Kyoda Village. Shot holes were detected at private houses.
Aug.2,1979 Some bullets, suspected to be from US military machine guns, were shot into a water tank of a pigsty at Sukuda, Nago City. The US Commander expressed his regret in May.
Nov.5,1979 A US army signal bomb dropped onto the garden of a private house in Kin Village. The US army announced that it was just a mischief by a US serviceman.
Oct.1,1980 An observation aircraft crashed on the runway of Futenma Marine Base, killing one member of the crew.
Apr.21,1981 A Marine parachute exercising at Yomitan auxiliary airport fell near Furugen Elementary School, causing a turmoil among the pupils at the morning meeting.
Mar.8,1982 A 48-year-old jobless man was found to be killed in the graveyard in Kin Town. Ishikawa Police Office arrested a 20-year old US serviceman in the base with the permission of the US Investigation Headquarters. Naha District Court ordered the accused in March, 1983 to pay forty million yen.
Aug.2,1982 A 33-year-old woman employee of a diner at a house building site in Henoko, Nago City, was strangled to death by a 22-year-old US serviceman.
Aug.19,1982 A US military helicopter crashed in Futenma Base.
Feb.23,1983 A 40-year-old taxi driver was stabbed to death by two US servicemen in Camp Hansen, Kin Town. In November Naha District Court sentenced the two accused to imprisonment for life.
Apr.4, 1983 A 41-year-old village resident walking out of the fence of a US military facility in Yomitan Village got fire warning shots by military police.
May 18,1984 In Kyoda, Nago City, a dump truck was shot at the front part by a machine gun bullet apparently from a US tank.
Jan.16,1985 A 51-year-old junkman was stabbed to death while sleeping by a 20-year-old US serviceman intending theft. The accused was sentenced to imprisonment for life at Naha District Court. In January 1988, the Supreme Court dismissed the final appeal, thus determining the sentence.
July 12, 1985 A US military helicopter crashed on the mountain path near Henoko Dam, Kunigami Village, killing all of the four crew members.
Oct.29,1985 Ishikawa Police Office arrested two US servicemen in the act of raping a woman after abducting her by a car on her way home.
Sep.27,1986 A bullet from US military M16 rifle broke a window of a private house in Igei, Kin Town.
Jul.9,1987 The water pipe from the Shiobaru Reservoir at Yakaku, Kin Town was broken by US military M16 rifle causing suspension of water supply to some houses.
Jun.4,1988 Two men driving prefecture road No.70 at Takae, Higashi Village complained of pain at eyes and throat. It was later attributed to the discharge of tear gas.
Aug.12,1988 In July 1987, a Malaysian cargo ship was shot by a mock bomb off Kume Island. The US army announced that the incident was that the formation chief mistook the ship for an island. The Eleventh Regional Maritime Safety Headquarters sent the papers pertaining to the formation chief to the Public Prosecutors Office.
Oct.15,1988 Several bullets, suspected to be from the US exercise field, were found one after another at a private house in Igei, Kin Town. One of the bullets nearly shot a citizen's abdomen.
Oct.31,1988 A US military helicopter crashed near the training field in Takae, Higashi Village, killing four people.
Dec.24,1988 A tear gas bomb was thrown into a disco in Okinawa City, which caused two hundred people fall down. Two lost consciousness. The US marine announced a suspension of using tear gas for the time being.
Mar.14, 1989 A US military helicopter crashed on the sea near Iye Island, killing three crew members.
Nov.4, 1989 American boys and so on, one after another, shot air guns.
Jun.14, 1991 A 34-year-old jobless man was stabbed to death by a 20-year-old US serviceman. The serviceman was sentenced to nine years' penal servitude.
Oct.15,1991 A US serviceman fired blank shots at a private car on the Town Road passing through Camp Hansen in Kin Town.
Jan.17,1992 Three US servicemen committed robbery at a private house in Okinawa City. Two of them kept in custody by the US army escaped out of the base. One of them was arrested later in the United States.
Oct.20, 1992 A large-size helicopter crashed in Futenma base near Futenma Dai-ni Elementary School.
Apr. 11,1993 A 33-year-old carpenter was clubbed to death by a 18-year-old marine.
Jul.17,1993 A 25-year-old US serviceman under confinement within the base as a suspected case of raping a 19-year-old Japanese woman escaped back to United States by a commercial aircraft. He was arrested in US and was sent back to Okinawa.
Nov.16, 1994 A US military helicopter crashed in Camp Schwab in Henoko, Nago City, killing and injuring five people.
May 10,1995 A 24-year-old insurance saleswoman was hit on the face with a hammer by a 20-year-old US serviceman in front of her apartment house. She died.
Sep.4,1995 Three US servicemen raped a 12-year-old schoolgirl.
[10/12/1995 from The Okinawa Times]