Extraterritoriality is the problem

In his Oct. 19 letter, “Japanese justice sure to surprise,” Ron NJ claims that if U.S. military members were subject to Japanese justice after their arrest and made to serve time in Japanese prisons, all the faults of the Japanese justice system would come to light and thus preclude the drafting of a new Status of Forces Agreement.

However, the issue [in the Oct. 13 editorial “Revising Status of Forces Agreement”] is not about the merits or demerits of the Japanese justice system. It is about the extraterritoriality that U.S. service members enjoy in Japan. They do not always have to face the justice system of Japan when they break Japan’s laws.

This should not be. Japan’s sovereignty as a nation will not be whole unless U.S. military personnel, like anyone else in Japan, have to face the Japanese legal system when they violate Japanese laws. Better yet, get all the U.S. bases and personnel the heck out of Japan and kill two birds with one stone.

timothy bedwell
tokorozawa, saitama

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.