• SHARE

Recent outbreaks of the novel coronavirus at U.S. military bases in Okinawa have cast renewed light on what many consider to be extraterritorial rights enjoyed by American servicemen under the decadeslong U.S.-Japan Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA).

Under the framework, members of the U.S. armed forces are granted special dispensation from “Japanese passport and visa laws and regulations,” which enables them to fly directly into bases and circumvent the rigid virus testing regime overseen by national authorities at airports.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)