Protests continue mounting on Okinawa over the latest incident in which a 14 year-old girl allegedly was raped by an American soldier. The Okinawa Women Acting Against Military Violence set a letter to the American government demanding an apology and compensation for the girl who was attacked. “Can we allow the U.S. military to interfere in the lives of Okinawans,” said the letter. “Why are we not making a safe environment for Okinawan women a priority?”
As long as there are military bases anywhere in the world there will be incidents in which soldiers attack women. American forces have now been stationed in Japan and on Okinawa for over sixty years. The reasons for their original being placed in these locations has long since disappeared into history. Isn’t it about time to withdraw the 50,000 military personnel and have them sent to areas where there presence is needed?