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U.S. sailor held for alleged rape at Naha hotel

Kyodo

The government has lodged a protest with the United States over the alleged rape of a Japanese tourist by a U.S. sailor in Okinawa on Sunday.

Justin Castellanos, 24, of the U.S. Navy’s Camp Schwab in the prefecture, is suspected of raping a woman in her 40s at a hotel in Naha where they were both staying.

“It was extremely regrettable that this case happened,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference. The government demanded that the United States “tighten discipline and prevent a recurrence of such incidents,” he said.

Suga quoted U.S. officials as saying they are taking the case seriously. He added, it would be “regrettable” if a U.S. serviceman is found to be guilty.

The government’s top spokesman said the Foreign and Defense ministries filed a protest Sunday afternoon with the U.S. Embassy and with U.S. forces stationed in Japan.

Speaking to reporters Monday in the Okinawa prefectural capital of Naha, Gov. Takeshi Onaga condemned the incident.

“It was a serious crime in violation of women’s human rights and can never be tolerated,” Onaga said. “I feel strong resentment.”

Citing the fact that the woman is a tourist from Fukuoka Prefecture, Onaga said the incident “might pose a significant impact on tourism, a major industry for the prefecture.”

On Sunday, local police arrested Castellanos on suspicion of taking the woman to his room at the hotel and raping her there. He denies it.

Police said the suspect took the woman to his room after finding her sleeping in the corridor.

The sailor and the woman were both staying at the hotel but were unacquainted, they said.

Crimes by U.S. military personnel have caused concern and protests in Okinawa, which hosts the bulk of U.S. forces in Japan.

  • Liars N. Fools

    Get them out of Okinawa.

    • Tachomanx

      Nah, simply convicting the man will suffice.

      Let’s not make a criminal incident into an international one.

      • Firas Kraïem

        “Simply convicting the man will suffice.” Until next time.

      • Tachomanx

        As in all crimes around the world. No difference at all.

      • anna kakazu preble

        Actually, there is a difference, since the US-Japan Security treaty erodes rule of law in Okinawa with regards to servicemembers. I’m also sooooooo tired of that old argument that bases bring jobs. If you check out the economic analysis provided by the Prefecture’s website, actual incomes from bases have been declining as other Okinawan industries are finally able to develop enough to provide jobs.

      • Yuriko

        Yea but the Japanese Police have him in custody.

      • anna kakazu preble

        “Oh, sure, and it’s ok that a 14 year old was assaulted because the 3 men who kidnapped her were convicted.” Does that sound like a messed up argument? because he didn’t make it back to a base first. US-Japan Sofas, and “gentlemen’s agreements”, don’t fix this. Put the bases in Yamato land if it’s such a great system. Equal protection before the law is not weighed or negated by individual circumstances, and it’s time the “unfortunate burden” was removed.

    • rbtifo

      Thing is, Okinawans I have heard appreciate the base jobs and income from the bases for the island. Catch 22.

      • Yuriko

        Very few base jobs and returning the land will benefit Okinawa. Where the land has been returned the economy is very good.

      • anna kakazu preble

        does this include the recent find of barrels of Dioxin? The land is usually returned without environmental assessments.

      • Yuriko

        Very few base jobs and returning the land will benefit Okinawa. Where the land has been returned the economy is very good.

  • Liars N. Fools

    Get them out of Okinawa.

  • blondein_tokyo

    I understand the instinct to blame the military as a whole when incidents like this occur. I’ve experienced sexual harassment from plenty of Japanese guys, and honestly do not trust them when it comes to riding crowded trains or walking past drunken salarymen on the street late at night.

    But as much as I understand the fear and loathing and anger, it’s still not fair and not logical to blame the actions of a few bad men on all men. What I’d like to see instead is better treatment and care for victims, harsher sentences for those found guilty, and accountablity on the part of police for when they fail to protect women. That means, for example, not dimissing victims and taking action when they get complaints.

    I have twice been to the police box to report being followed and grabbed on the street, and the officers on duty didn’t take a report and didn’t come with me to where the guys were hanging out on the street, harassing women who were walking by. The officers could easily have brought the guys in, at least to reprimand them, but instead they just told my friend and I “don’t walk around here at night”, as though it was our fault and invevitable. This atititude of victim blaming is the real problem, and as long as it’s prevalent, these incidents will keep happening as there will be no impetus for these men to stop.

    • Edward Ballard

      Haha you’re pathetic. This article has nothing to do with your comment.

    • Edward Ballard

      “I understand the instinct to blame the military as a whole when incidents like this occur. I’ve experienced sexual harassment from plenty of Japanese guys, and honestly do not trust them when it comes to riding crowded trains or walking past drunken salarymen on the street late at night.

      But as much as I understand the fear and loathing and anger, it’s still not fair and not logical to blame the actions of a few bad men on all men.”
      But you’re agenda here is to paint a bad picture of the Japanese based on your “experience” (which typically those fools don’t mess with Western females) while at the same time making sure that your comment doesn’t seem too biased. Nice work there.. Its okay, every culture/nation/race has its bad apples. Just accept that our military messed up and move on. No need to defend our bad doings with your “experiences.” It just sounds pathetic.

      • blondein_tokyo

        “But you’re agenda here is to paint a bad picture of the Japanese based on your “experience”.
        No. What I actually said is, “not all men rape” so rape should be blamed on rapists, not all men. I also called for better treatment of victims, and strenthening of the law, which are big problems that Japan needs to address.

        Why put the word experience in quote marks, as though you disbelieve me? Does that mean you think that I’m lying about my experiences with sexual harassment in Japan? No place on earth is free from sexual harassment/rape. Japan and Japanese men are no exceptions, nor is the military.

        Calling me “pathetic” for pointing this out is uncalled for and needlessly hostile.

      • Edward Ballard

        Read again.. I didn’t call you pathetic but only pointed out what you’re saying sounds pathetic.

        I put experience in quotation marks as we don’t know who you are or what you’re attempting to convey. You are posting an “experience” of yours in relation to this article which is about a rape of a Japanese national by a U.S. serviceman. You stated “I understand the instinct to blame the military as a whole when incidents like this occur. I’ve experienced sexual harassment from plenty of Japanese guys, and honestly do not trust them when it comes to riding crowded trains or walking past drunken salarymen on the street late at night.” You made a generalizing statement about the Japanese when this article is pointing out a serious crime committed by one of our soldiers within their sovereign nation. That’s what I found pathetic.

        As stated before, we don’t know who you are. This the internet and your “experiences” may of very well happened although I know for fact that the Japanese typically leave Western people alone unless they need assistance (and even then some of them are hesitant due to their lack of English). Most of the crime in Japan is committed by foreigners.

        You’re right, there is no place on earth free from sexual harassment/rape however it doesn’t negate the fact that its much less common in some countries versus others. We may all be humans, but culture definitely plays a huge role in social behavior.

      • blondein_tokyo

        No, it is not generalizing about the Japanese to say rape and sexual harassment are problems everywhere and Japan is no exception.

        You say “Japanese typically leave Westerners alone”. Sorry, but you are wrong. Rape and sexual assault don’t just happen to Japanese women; it happens to foreign women in Japan, too.

        You say, “Most crime in Japan is committed by foreigners.” Sorry, but as we are 2% of the population, you are again wrong. This is also quite a racist thing to say.

        Considering that you think women lie about rape and seem to be a racist, I’m no longer interested in continuing this discussion.

        JT – this forum really needs a block function. I don’t know about anyone else on here, but personally I’m getting quite tired of seeing these types of posts in my feed. I would prefer to be able to just block these guys so that I don’t ever have to read their bile again.

      • Edward Ballard

        Again please read.

        “No, it is not generalizing about the Japanese to say rape and sexual harassment are problems everywhere and Japan is no exception.”- I didn’t say that. I said what you stated was generalizing as in YOUR statement was generalizing all Japanese men.
        Copy and pasted what you stated for the 2nd time: “I understand the instinct to blame the military as a whole when incidents like this occur. I’ve experienced sexual harassment from plenty of Japanese guys, and honestly do not trust them when it comes to riding crowded trains or walking past drunken salarymen on the street late at night.” That is a generalizing statement. Please read again if necessary and think carefully.

        Right again re-read that as I said TYPICALLY. I have also agreed already that rape and crime happens in Japan as anywhere in the world there are just much lower levels of crimes in Japan compared to other countries. It is a relatively safe nation compared to other countries and that is fact.

        “”You say, “Most crime in Japan is committed by foreigners.” Sorry, but as we are 2% of the population, you are again wrong. This is also quite a racist thing to say.””- How is that racist? Firstly foreigners consists of all types of races in Japan including Asians. Yakuza has many Korean descended Japanese citizens for instance. Yes Japanese commit crimes more than foreigners in terms of QUANTITY as they are obviously the majority in their own country being the other 98%. Nice try there.

        “Considering that you think women lie about rape and seem to be a racist, I’m no longer interested in continuing this discussion.

        JT – this forum really needs a block function. I don’t know about anyone else on here, but personally I’m getting quite tired of seeing these types of posts in my feed. I would prefer to be able to just block these guys so that I don’t ever have to read their bile again.” – Now you’re just playing victim.
        You simply stated an opinion on a news site’s comment section and I simply stated mine in response which is what this posting function was originally designed for. If you can’t hold a civil discussion because you’re getting so emotionally riled up that someone is disagreeing with you and stating facts then simply don’t respond. You’re lowering yourself to the level of name calling. Personally I’m getting tired of people who can’t simply hold a discussion without getting angry or upset (perhaps its a sign of realization but it doesn’t fit their agenda).
        I didn’t even call you a liar or said you lied about rape. You seem to be distorting what I said now to fit your new agenda by name calling rather than responding rationally. Perhaps we would be better off if we could block people like you so we don’t have to read your bile again. If you don’t like the responses then you’re free to leave. Otherwise I will exercise my free right to respond accordingly.

      • Edward Ballard

        Read again.. I didn’t call you pathetic but only pointed out what you’re saying sounds pathetic.

        I put experience in quotation marks as we don’t know who you are or what you’re attempting to convey. You are posting an “experience” of yours in relation to this article which is about a rape of a Japanese national by a U.S. serviceman. You stated “I understand the instinct to blame the military as a whole when incidents like this occur. I’ve experienced sexual harassment from plenty of Japanese guys, and honestly do not trust them when it comes to riding crowded trains or walking past drunken salarymen on the street late at night.” You made a generalizing statement about the Japanese when this article is pointing out a serious crime committed by one of our soldiers within their sovereign nation. That’s what I found pathetic.

        As stated before, we don’t know who you are. This the internet and your “experiences” may of very well happened although I know for fact that the Japanese typically leave Western people alone unless they need assistance (and even then some of them are hesitant due to their lack of English). Most of the crime in Japan is committed by foreigners.

        You’re right, there is no place on earth free from sexual harassment/rape however it doesn’t negate the fact that its much less common in some countries versus others. We may all be humans, but culture definitely plays a huge role in social behavior.

  • Ken Foye

    >>“It was a serious crime in violation of women’s human rights and can never be tolerated,” (Governor) Onaga said.<<<

    Innocent until proven guilty, Mr. Governor. Yes, that applies in Japan. And it even applies to U.S. servicemen.

    It's incredibly irresponsible for the governor to pronounce the accused man guilty before he's even had a trial. It's irresponsible of anyone.

    • Pink Floyd

      Actually you will find that in Japan it’s guilty until proven innocent , especially in a foreigners case.

      • Kessek

        So it’s like America too? Interesting.

  • Pink Floyd

    Meanwhile in Japanese porn women are coaxed into signing dodgy contracts and then repeatedly raped on camera, yes a huge market for rape based porn in Japan… But lets stay on topic and focus on foreigners raping Japanese women i guess.

    • Kessek

      Yeah I know what you mean. it’s only rape. :-/

    • anna kakazu preble

      This article is about servicemembers, not men in general. With the rape rates in the US the way they are, Americans are *precisely* NOT the people to go around policing other cultures.

      • Pink Floyd

        Your ignorance shows, you assume i’m an America… you know nothing about me… rape in Japan commited by Japanese is through the roof but all swept under the carpet, many women who report rapes are waved away by the Japanese police as timewasters

  • Spantan9

    Yet another rape by American servicemen? Seems to be a weekly event in Japan. The greatest foreign threat Japan faces isn’t from any of her neighbors, it’s from the impotent, thirsty Americans stationed there. Note how the criminals arrested always happen to have Spanish, African or Italian names. Guess they’re not used to the fact that women from civilized societies aren’t attracted to “men” from delinquent cultures so they resort to rape.

    That rapist (defended by good ol’ Tacho) should be hung by his index fingers and have his manhood snipped with a pair of rusty garden shears.

  • Joshua

    I love how they put “he denies it” and that’s all she wrote for his defense. Is it possible that Japanese people lie too? Is it possible he is innocent? Nope, because he has a pecker therefore he must be guilty. I love the fact that you people automatically condem him before the full story is unveiled. Sure if he’s found guilty then fry him! However, even if he is found innocent, he’s still screwed.

    • blondein_tokyo

      Yeah, she decided to lie down in the hallway on purpose in order to wait for him even though she didn’t even know he would walk by. And even though she was unconcious , she managned to wake up long enough to ask him to carry her to his room so they could have sex. And even though she was unconcious, she could totally consent to sex. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

      • anna kakazu preble

        Japan is not the 51st state of America. Why should there be “innocent until proven guilty” if it’s not the US? It seems an orientalist viewpoint to expect extraterritorial defendants’ rights.

      • blondein_tokyo

        This reply makes no sense, so I think I’m just going to pretend I didn’t read it.

      • Joe Dees

        Not to excuse this behavior if it proves to be the case, but there is little room for a nation that enslaved “comfort women” from conquered nations in WW II as military sex toys to ride a high horse of moral superiority. At least this incident isn’t institutional and systematic; that horrid history WAS.

      • anna kakazu preble

        I understand. However, all of my comments here have mentioned the security treaty and the central governments’ (US and Tokyo) insistence to keep the large majority of these bases concentrated in Okinawa as an “unfortunate burden”. therefore, my position is that it IS systemic and institutional, and other gaijin’s experiences in Japan are not a fair comparison. I know that I’ve been told I’m too confrontational on this board, and I won’t deny that, but the alternative is to continue with this “shikata ga nai” crap that hasn’t gotten Okinawans anywhere except to remain as a “sankokujin” in the eyes of Yamato Japanese and Americans both.

      • Joe Dees

        Nice elision of my central point, which was that the systematic and institutional slavery and rape of women from conquered nations was a WW II Japanese policy. That cannot be said of this case. It is, if the allegations prove out, a criminal act by an individual, and one that is in direct opposition to what the US military expects of its servicepeople.

      • anna kakazu preble

        the US-Japan SoFA only provides protections to soldiers of any service in Japan. Period. that IS insitutional.

      • Joe Dees

        Soldiers aren’t diplomats, and they don’t receive diplomatic immunity for criminal acts they might commit in countries in which they are stationed in peacetime. If this soldier did indeed take nonconsensual sexual advantage of this woman, he will pay the price, and should. And it will be a heavy one.

      • anna kakazu preble

        the US-Japan SoFA only provides protections to soldiers of any service in Japan. Period. that IS insitutional.

      • anna kakazu preble

        Also, in 2013 the Mayor of Osaka, HASHIMOTO Toru, advised a US military official to use Okinawan women and the sex industry in the same way as comfort camps were used.

        I wrote this point earlier but for some reason JT is preventing it from posting.

      • Joe Dees

        I can’t believe that more than 70 years later, a Japanese mayor would be advising the US military to recommend such a thing to its servicepeople! Color me shocked.
        I’m quite certain that the US military didn’t take such a suggestion to heart.

      • anna kakazu preble

        Also, in 2013 the Mayor of Osaka, HASHIMOTO Toru, advised a US military official to use Okinawan women and the sex industry in the same way as comfort camps were used.

        I wrote this point earlier but for some reason JT is preventing it from posting.

      • anna kakazu preble

        Also, in 2013 the Mayor of Osaka, HASHIMOTO Toru, advised a US military official to use Okinawan women and the sex industry in the same way as comfort camps were used.

        I wrote this point earlier but for some reason JT is preventing it from posting.

      • Edward Ballard

        However that was the past and in history and this is the present. We in America also have a horrid history but that has nothing to do with us now.

      • Joe Dees

        Not to excuse this behavior if it proves to be the case, but there is little room for a nation that enslaved “comfort women” from conquered nations in WW II as military sex toys to ride a high horse of moral superiority. At least this incident isn’t institutional and systematic; that horrid history WAS.

      • anna kakazu preble

        Japan is not the 51st state of America. Why should there be “innocent until proven guilty” if it’s not the US? It seems an orientalist viewpoint to expect extraterritorial defendants’ rights.

    • blondein_tokyo

      Yeah, she decided to lie down in the hallway on purpose in order to wait for him even though she didn’t even know he would walk by. And even though she was unconcious , she managned to wake up long enough to ask him to carry her to his room so they could have sex. And even though she was unconcious, she could totally consent to sex. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

    • blondein_tokyo

      Yeah, she decided to lie down in the hallway on purpose in order to wait for him even though she didn’t even know he would walk by. And even though she was unconcious , she managned to wake up long enough to ask him to carry her to his room so they could have sex. And even though she was unconcious, she could totally consent to sex. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

    • blondein_tokyo

      Yeah, she decided to lie down in the hallway on purpose in order to wait for him even though she didn’t even know he would walk by. And even though she was unconcious , she managned to wake up long enough to ask him to carry her to his room so they could have sex. And even though she was unconcious, she could totally consent to sex. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

    • blondein_tokyo

      Yeah, she decided to lie down in the hallway on purpose in order to wait for him even though she didn’t even know he would walk by. And even though she was unconcious , she managned to wake up long enough to ask him to carry her to his room so they could have sex. And even though she was unconcious, she could totally consent to sex. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

    • Edward Ballard

      “I love the fact that you people automatically condem him before the full story is unveiled.”

      Sounds like our good ole American media in the progressive US of A.

      “Sure if he’s found guilty then fry him! However, even if he is found innocent, he’s still screwed.” – Same as a non-White American in the US.

  • anna kakazu preble

    All of the points here are brought up as a way to excuse the actions of US Servicemembers (as uniquely protected by the US-Japan SoFA) and completely *IGNORE* the position of Okinawan women, who have long complained about the threats of intimate violence in their home island for years now. Why don’t the Yamato ethnics want these incredible concentrations of military populations in THEIR prefectures?! It’s considered perfectly acceptable to concentrate these bases in a community that’s considered ethnically and culturally inferior in Tokyo’s eyes. The comments here seem to ignore that difference of NIMBY politics and the general discipline problems of the US military servicemembers. OF COURSE it’s not just Okinawan women – there are US service women complaints that go entirely ignored too (unless the female accuser outranks her attacker). Get a clue, people. Stop blaming the Okinawans for their more than understandable responses of anger and calls for equal protection before the law.

    • anna kakazu preble

      also, I’d like to point out that no other foreigners are protected in this way in Japan: not students, businessmen, nor tourists. *ONLY* military personnel, who have been trained in combat and are indeed under a lot of stress. The easiest outlet for that stress? Alcohol; R&R; violence. The US chain of command figures the violence that happens in Okinawa sum up to perfectly acceptable losses and collateral damage. The Okinawan officials and activists who have stepped up their protests are done with that crap.

      • Brian Stump

        Not to discount your statements but, a foreigner or hafu in Japan is rarely treated as an equal to a person of full Japanese ancestry.

        Not saying it’s wrong but, you may want to think about that. Right now you seem to have a large chip on your shoulder. . .

        Okinawa is a very complex problems for everyone concerned. I don’t think you are going to persuade too many yanks by going on a multi-comment rant.
        Bri

        P.S. I agree with most of your points.

      • Edward Ballard

        I think most hafus understand that they are not seen as fully Japanese. That really isnt an issue (unless you were born and raised in Japan). It does however enable you to see issues from both perspectives.

        I dont think he has a chip on his shoulder but is speaking from his own perspective as a half Japanese person. Most hafus would also defend their Western heritage from few Japanese who would say the same about them having a chip on their shoulder if this issue were the other way around.

      • wfraser11

        In 1973, two of my minority Marines assaulted a taxi driver
        in Naha and ended up in an Okinawan prison.
        I often wonder what happened to those two.

  • billrowland

    Blacks and other minorities stationed in Okinawa have been raping Japanese women and schoolgirls for decades. That is why they want us out.

    • Anti-Government

      U.S. Military personnel (black, white ect.) have been raping every nation for decades, not just one particular race. That is why they want ya’ll out.

      • billrowland

        In this particular case and base it has been particularly bad.

    • Anti-Government

      U.S. Military personnel (black, white ect.) have been raping every nation for decades, not just one particular race. That is why they want ya’ll out.

    • blondein_tokyo

      White guys rape too. This statement is just plain racist.

      • David Curry

        I guess it’s racist, but the servicemembers accused of rape in Okinawa haven’t been white.

    • blondein_tokyo

      White guys rape too. This statement is just plain racist.

  • Aussie Andrew

    The Ryukyu people deserve better than this; they are in such a minority compared with the population of the main northern Islands that they are always going to be treated like slaves and one must also bear in mind that they are a separate race than Abe and Hirohito; the Ryuko nation are actually of the blood of southern Chinese ancestry.
    Time for them to declare independence from Washington and push the US military base back up to Yokohama or Washington.

  • http://www.phonikatokyo.com Alex Einz

    Sleeping in corridor? 24 year old grabbing 40year old woman? I donno, seems like the picture is not really painted fully and Okinawan authorities blowing things up before the dust settled…

  • http://www.phonikatokyo.com Alex Einz

    I havent heard about women sleeping in hotel corridors, but I have seen plenty of soccer moms in their 40s flirting directly with younger foreign boys.

  • J.P. Bunny

    This article is woefully lacking any meaningful information that would support either side’s story. He said, she said. Would this have made the news if it didn’t involve a U.S. military male in Okinawa?

  • Brian Stump

    Leave him to the Japanese. It’s their country and citizen that was harmed. If he’s guilty… well…
    It does sound a little fishy to me. Why was the woman passed out in a hallway? Can she remember how she got there (the floor)?
    Either way, rather sad development/incident.

    • anna kakazu preble

      I appreciate you being diplomatic about your feedback to me, but (1) I *AM* one of the so-called “haafu” (I and some others prefer AmerAsian uchinanchu) AND (2) most of my family still lives in the thick of it. I think that my comments are appropriate considering the venue: Japan Times is not a favorite of mine. Have a great day.

      • anna kakazu preble

        this is odd – I thought I was responding to you, Brian, but…..well…I don’t see your post now. It was very civil, and I can’t help but notice that you and I might be the two of the very few not hiding behind an alias here.

      • anna kakazu preble

        this is odd – I thought I was responding to you, Brian, but…..well…I don’t see your post now. It was very civil, and I can’t help but notice that you and I might be the two of the very few not hiding behind an alias here.

    • anna kakazu preble

      apparently I’ve been in need of the “last word” on these topics. I’ll take your words into better advisement. Thanks again for being civil and not patronizing about non-americans, something that westerners have a notorious reputation.

  • GBR48

    If rapes and violence against Japanese women, by Japanese men, generated just 1% of the commentary, coverage and condemnation that this case will get, Japanese women would be a whole lot safer.

  • GBR48

    If rapes and violence against Japanese women, by Japanese men, generated just 1% of the commentary, coverage and condemnation that this case will get, Japanese women would be a whole lot safer.

  • wfraser11

    Going out to Henoko was a big deal when I was stationed at Camp Schwab in 1976. Anything to get off that base.

  • FREEEEEEEDOM123

    To the idiots commenting do your research first.