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USFJ Commander Lt. Gen. Edward Rice states in the July 16 article that the rate of off-base crimes committed by members of the U.S. military in Japan is much lower than that for Japanese in general: “We are able to keep the off-base serious crime rate for the U.S. service members to approximately half that of the overall Japanese population.”

As any intelligent third-grade math student will tell you, that is simply rubbish. We all learn from an early age to question the basic premise. Another way to look at these numbers is to say that the U.S. military members in Japan, in ONLY a few hours each week away from base (remember, military personnel are on base most of the time), still commit a significant percentage of the crime compared with all Japanese who are, of course, “off base” 24 hours a day.

This is shocking and embarrassing. Frankly, I don’t blame the Japanese in Okinawa and elsewhere for demanding that something be done. God forbid, if the U.S. military was “off base” 24 hours, seven days a week, the crime rate might be 10 times the Japanese rate!

james nelsen