• San Antonio, Texas


Regarding the Nov. 17 Kyodo brief “Okinawa issues more protests“: What many people fail to realize, amid the rampant xenophobia and liberal reporting about Okinawa’s plight, is that U.S. service members account for an extremely small percentage of crime compared with that of the local populace.

This situation should be looked at objectively with a level of common sense yet to be conveyed thus far in news reports and opinion articles. Preventive measures by the U.S. military to somehow hinder the flawed nature of man affects everyone. For example, the actions of an airman don’t reflect those of a marine. The actions of two sailors not stationed in Japan don’t reflect those of soldiers. However, the sins of a few will always affect the many.

When the bases go into extreme lockdown and liberty is restricted, then the local economy, which depends on the business of the base populations, ultimately suffers. In the long run, isn’t that hurting the economy of the prefecture?

What I find deplorable are some protesters’ passive attacks on service members, and their families, who have nothing to do with crime. Cars have been vandalized and people get harassed during their daily commute because of the public outcry over the behavior of individuals who most of the military population didn’t know existed in the first place.

So, while the offenders need to be punished to the fullest extent of the law, those who protest should take a good long look in the mirror to understand that two wrongs don’t make a right.

A young officer or enlisted person working to feed his or her family has no control over the U.S. government, the government’s plans for aircraft like the Osprey or any other questionable decision. Why do some local nationals think it appropriate to attack service members as if they were criminals?

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

brandon saunders

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