• Kamogawa, Chiba


Regarding David McNeill’s March 3 Zeit Gist article, “Rape victim fights for justice against U.S. military, Japan“: McNeill should hire a fact-checker before he submits such an article. The victim’s name is withheld probably for privacy, yet the name of her alleged attacker is revealed in full. Why? Seems McNeill has a dual standard. It should be made clear that “Jane” was allegedly raped since it is not an established fact.

Just what is the “secret agreement” that was alleged? Unanswered. What happened to the victim’s clothing, which certainly should have had DNA evidence in spite of her urine being flushed down the toilet? Unanswered. What are the “murky” reasons the suspect was released and not charged? Unanswered. What does “demobbed” mean? Unanswered.

The U.S. military does not deliberately discharge anyone before his enlistment is up, and certainly not when charges are pending. Many have experienced a “legal hold” when charges are pending. Is McNeill certain there were charges pending? What were the charges? Why was the suspect not indicted by Japanese prosecutors? Again, all unanswered (although a Tokyo civil court is said to have ruled against the suspect in his absence and awarded Jane compensation in 2004).

Where does McNeill get his figures? “Eighty American bases” in Japan seems preposterous. It has been reported often that the U.S. military crime rate, including for sexual assault and rape, is well under the rate for the Japanese population.

Of course, it is horrific each time a crime of this nature happens regardless of the nationality of the perpetrator. I pray that Jane receives justice, but no one should play games with, omit or make up facts to fit the situation.

name withheld by request

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