Okinawa assembly passes resolution over sex assaults by US military personnel

Japan's Okinawa prefectural assembly has unanimously passed a resolution and a statement in response to multiple allegations of sexual violence involving US military personnel stationed in the prefecture.

The step was taken at a plenary session of the assembly on Wednesday.

The resolution is a protest directed at the United States, including US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel. It states sexual violence is an extremely heinous crime that tramples on human dignity and cannot be tolerated under the laws and justice of either country.

The resolution calls on the US side to present residents of Okinawa with concrete and effective measures to prevent a recurrence, such as a tightening of discipline.

The statement is directed at the Japanese government, including Prime Minister Kishida Fumio. It points out the failure of investigative authorities and the Foreign Ministry to provide the Okinawa prefectural government and local municipalities with information about the serious incidents.

It adds that this has raised doubts among people in the prefecture.

Both the resolution and statement call for an apology and compensation for the victims as well as mental healthcare.

They also are requesting that the prefectural government and relevant municipalities be promptly notified of incidents involving US military personnel, while ensuring the victims' privacy is protected.

In addition, the assembly is calling for fundamental revisions to the Japan-US Status of Forces Agreement, claiming that it affords special treatment to US military personnel in Japan.

The prefectural assembly says it wants to send a delegation to Tokyo to visit the US embassy, the foreign ministry and elsewhere to directly pass on the documents as early as this month.