NAHA, OKINAWA PREF. – The U.S. government has yet to pay compensation to a 71-year-old former taxi driver diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after he was robbed by two U.S. Marines while driving a taxi in Okinawa in 2006, the man’s lawyer said Monday.
The lawyer, Tsutomu Arakaki, said such compensation is typically paid within a period of a year or a year and a half.
In July 2006, the marines robbed the driver of his wallet with ¥44,000 and some $320 after pulling him from his cab in the city of Okinawa. The man filed for damages in November 2008 and in April 2009, with the Defense Ministry serving as a point of contact for the U.S military, but the procedure has stalled on the U.S. side for unknown reasons, he said.
At a news conference in Naha, Arakaki said that his client “became incapable of driving and sustained a great deal of emotional distress.”
The Naha District Court ruled in 2009 that the United States pay about ¥28 million in damages. The same court sentenced the marines to two years and 10 months in prison the previous year.
The bilateral agreement also stipulates that if damages paid by the U.S. government fall short of the amount finalized by the court, the Japanese side can pay the balance.
On Aug. 14, the lawyer asked the Defense Ministry to pay the compensation if the United States continues to be unresponsive.