US Commander Reacts to Misconduct in Japan

Air Force Lt. Gen. John Dolan, commander of US Forces Japan and 5th Air Force, visited Kadena AB, Japan, to stress the importance of airmen’s conduct and the ramifications of bad behavior under the Status of Forces Agreement with Japan, in the wake of recent incidents of misconduct by Americans on Okinawa and mainland Japan. “These are unprecedented times here on Okinawa and in Japan,” Dolan told US personnel. “What happened was truly awful and the effects are being felt Japan-wide, so it’s vital to ensure everyone—the military members, dependents, civilians, and contractors—are aware of how the SOFA affects them specifically.” A US civilian contractor has been charged with rape and murder of a Japanese woman, a US service member recently was sentenced to prison for murder, and a sailor has been charged with drunken driving. Although the SOFA gives US personnel in Japan certain protections, “if you commit a crime in Japan, you can be prosecuted by Japanese authorities,” Dolan said in a release. And, he added, “Your SOFA status includes the responsibility to serve as ambassadors of the US to Japan. Your behavior, good and bad, reflects on you, your family, the US military,” and America.