Okinawa Incident: When Japanese stood behind a raped girl against the USA

Three African American U.S. servicemen, named Marcus Gill, Rodrico Harp, and Kendrick Ledet were serving at Camp Hansen on Okinawa. They borrowed a van and captured a 12 years old Japanese girl on September 4, 1995.

They hit her, closed her eyes with tape, her mouth was shut and bounded her hands. Then, she was raped by the soldiers of American armed forces Gill and Harp while Ledet stated he was only acting as he was doing so because of Gill’s fear.[irp]

This incident took the discussion over the constant presence of U.S. forces in Japan. The criminals were declared as guilty in Japanese court by Japanese Law. In the beginning, the relatives of the criminals stated that Japanese had put pressure on them to admit the crime.

The investigation concluded in March 1996 that Gill admitted that he felt guilty of rape and other two men felt guilty of helping in making the plan. A barrister asked to put Gill and Harp to jail for seven years and six and half years for Ledet. Their relatives were also charged a fine to be paid to the family of the victim.

After this incident, the anger of public exploded over the U.S. when they initially took men into custody on September 6. Many fake stories were created that criminals were free to move and they had been eating burgers but that was not true. They were captured until Japanese officials charged them with the crime.

On September 29; the men were handed over to Japanese, after which they had formally accused them. Even the military sent the criminals to police in Naha for regular investigations.

The delay in handing over to the criminals increased the anger of public over the incident which made the biggest Anti-American demonstrations in Okinawa since the agreement was signed in 1960.

The agreement was signed on an emergency meeting which took place between Bill Clinton, the U.S. President and the Japanese Prime Minister named Ryutaro Hashimoto. The residents of Okinawa advertised a page in the New York Times criticizing the rape and other sides of the U.S. bases in Okinawa.

Bilateral Agreement was signed between U.S. and Japan to reduce the land amount on Okinawa covered by U.S. bases by 21%. After spending time in jail, they were to come out in 2003 and discharged from the military. Rodrico Harp complained about the condition of Japan jails and said he was forced to do slavery.

Ledet died in 2006. It was a clear murder-suicide case in U.S. He was lying on the floor in the apartment of Lauren Cooper. It seemed that he was sexually assaulted and then murdered. It appeared that he took his own life by cutting his arm.

In Japan, it was a very well-known case and has the influence of politics. In 2011 December, Defense Minister Yasuo Ichikawa was criticized by the opposition Liberal for failing to know the details of the rape.

His junior Satoshi Tanaka spoke with the reporters in a bar using harsh and aggressive words against him. In 2012, he was removed from his post and replaced by Naoki Tanaka.