Until the United States is satisfied that the Japanese legal system will treat those treated under the SOFA agreement in the same way as they are treated under the U.S. system, the revisions sought by Okinawa and local governments will remain unlikely and such alleged crimes will continue to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. The Okinawa prefectural government, which is seeking to renegotiate the agreement because it serves as a base for the U.S. military to show its privileged position, has studied the SOFA between the United States and Germany and Italy — the other two former Axis powers alongside Japan, lost during World War II. This agreement and its agreed revisions will remain in force as long as the Mutual Cooperation and Security Treaty remains in force, unless an agreement between the two governments terminates it sooner. Following the 1995 case in which a 12-year-old girl was raped by three American soldiers in Okinawa, Tokyo and Washington, an informal agreement was reached in which the United States expressed its readiness to “favourably” heed Japan`s demands for the drying up of suspects on suspicion of committing heinous crimes such as murder and rape. However, since its inception in 1960, the agreement has never been formally revised. And elsewhere, in Kanagawa Prefecture, where the Yokosuka naval base is located in the United States, on the same day, the prefecture assembly unanimously called for a review of the agreement to prevent a recurrence of crimes such as Okinawa`s most recent military presence. The agreement was originally signed by the United States and Japan in 1960. It regulates, among other things, how U.S. armed forces and related civilians, including the families of U.S.
soldiers and civilian contractors, must be treated in everything from minor road accidents to more serious crimes committed by Japanese authorities during their lifetime in Japan. This agreement is an inevitable necessity for Japan`s accession to the U.S. military, on which the strictly pacifist country relies heavily as a deterrent. Unlike the agreements that Germany and Italy have concluded with the U.S. military under the United States. Status of Forces Agreement, Japanese laws, do not apply to U.S. troops in Japan. Japan`s Civil Aviation Act imposes minimum levels of safety set by government regulations to ensure the safety of people, goods and aircraft, but U.S. military aircraft are not subject to these minimum requirements.
The Japanese government does not even have the power to insinuate U.S. military exercises and exercises. In 1996, the Japanese and U.S. governments signed agreements at Kadena Air Base and Futenma Air Station to reduce aircraft noise, which would in principle limit the flights of U.S. military aircraft between 10 .m and 6 .m. However, during this flight limitation period, 1,420 U.S. aircraft takeoffs and landings were recorded by visual confirmation from the Department of Defense`s Okinawa Defense Office in fiscal year 2017 (end of February 2018).