U.S. military to begin patrols during curfew hours in Naha

TOKYO —

U.S. forces on Okinawa will begin late-night patrols in Naha during curfew hours following a number of alleged crimes by service members, according to announcements Wednesday by both the Marine Corps and Air Force.

Stars & Stripes newspaper reported that the patrols will include plain-clothes service members from all branches who will walk the streets of the city between 11 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. Similar teams already patrol areas around major bases on the island.

The curfew has been in place since Oct 19 after two American sailors allegedly raped a woman in Okinawa. It applies to U.S. military personnel whether they are stationed in Japan or just visiting. It requires them to be in their homes, on base or wherever they are lodging.

However, there have been a number of incidents since the curfew was impose, including the case of one U.S. serviceman who allegedly hit a Japanese schoolboy in the face after breaking into his home following a drinking binge. 

Japan Today

  • -7

    rob-2

    Nice! There will be even more military guys on the streets! Okinawan people may be very happy for this! I just hope this patrols will behave as they should...

  • -4

    smithinjapan

    Ask and ye shall receive.

  • 5

    Yubaru

    This is going to be interesting to see. I know of PLENTY of non-military types that LOOK like military folks that drink and party in Naha every weekend. These patrols had better keep their guano together and make sure that they have JP's with them as well, otherwise they are just asking for trouble.

  • 5

    USNinJapan2

    Why just Naha and why just on Okinawa? The damn curfew has been applied to the rest of us stationed throughout Japan when anyone with half a brain knows that the problem is on Okinawa with the commands there alone and the rest of us stationed on the mainland are being punished unfairly for their misbehaving personnel. If patrols are needed only on Okinawa then the same goes for the curfew itself. The curfew should be lifted immediately for the rest of USFJ military personnel who are not on Okinawa and the Japanese government, public, and media should be sensible enough to understand that this would be a reasonable thing to do.

  • 7

    davestrousers

    Are they going to patrol together with Japanese police? Do the US military have any right to ask people for ID or do anything if they don't have/show it?

  • 1

    RealJapan

    The "genius" that came up with this idea should be discharged. I would have worked with all parties involved and had the issues problem-solved within 30-days.

  • 0

    Tom DeMicke

    I wonder how many retirees living in Okinawa will be approached by these patrols. Not sure if this is a good idea, but I guess they have to try everything to cover their buts if and when the next incident occurs.

  • 1

    Tiger_In_The_Hermitage

    Might as well put a curfew on the people of Okinawa, don't go out at night dangerous American's lurking.

  • 1

    Yubaru

    @USNinJapan2 and you've been in the military how long? You have to be a newbie if you use logic like you did in your post?

  • 2

    Yubaru

    Do the US military have any right to ask people for ID or do anything if they don't have/show it?

    Only to those in the military. Those folks not in the military have ZERO responsibility to even acknowledge the patrol or the people doing it.

    Now then odds are the patrols are going to be done with JP's and in that case if you are a foreigner and the JP's ask you for your ID you have to show it to them. Otherwise screw it.

  • 1

    johnnyG

    And how do these patrols harass/question non-military civilians who might be out at that time of night?

  • 3

    jessebaybay

    As a foreigner, the last place i would want to visit in japan is Okinawa... I get the impression everyone would just eyeball you thinking you are part of the military. Seems like a pain in the ass to tell every japanese person you meet out that you aren't american and you aren't in the military.

    You gotta feel for the people of Okinawa. If i were them, my empathy for the US and its military would of dried up long, long ago.

  • 2

    USNinJapan2

    Yubaru

    15 years and counting. Care to explain what's wrong with my logic? Do you have kids? Do you punish all of them if one of them did something bad? Of course not. Well these new patrols are being conduced to enforce the curfew. The curfew is Japan-wide so why aren't these patrols implemented for all locations where the curfew is in effect? Localizing these patrols to Okinawa is tantamount to admitting that the curfew's are not really necessary at all of the other installations.

  • -4

    BertieWooster

    Ali Khan-san,

    Actually my question is what the hell they are doing in Okinawa Prefecture

    A lot of us here ask that question.

    I haven't found a reason yet.

    Plenty of excuses and stuff like, "to protect Japan from the Chinese and North Koreans," but nothing that makes any sense.

    If you find anything let us know.

  • 0

    BertieWooster

    jessebaybay,

    Seems like a pain in the ass to tell every japanese person you meet out that you aren't american and you aren't in the military.

    I've not had a problem having to tell people I'm not military. Because of my advanced years, it's rather obvious. But it is, as you say, a pain in the rear end having to explain to people I'm not American. The usual question is, "What part of the States are you from?"

    Aaaaaargh!

  • 2

    Yubaru

    As a foreigner, the last place i would want to visit in japan is Okinawa... I get the impression everyone would just eyeball you thinking you are part of the military. Seems like a pain in the ass to tell every japanese person you meet out that you aren't american and you aren't in the military.

    No, no, no, no, and no! It's nothing like this, The bases are clustered pretty much in one area in the central part of the island. No one in nearly 30 years of living here has ever mistaken me for military, EVER.

  • 3

    Yubaru

    15 years and counting. Care to explain what's wrong with my logic? Do you have kids? Do you punish all of them if one of them did something bad? Of course not.

    If you have been in the military for that long you should know that the military doesnt give one rats ass about "rights" or where you are. You are in Japan, hence you are guilty by association. You can not think of yourself as a child but as a part of a group that lives under a dictatorship. The military is not a democracy.

  • 0

    Stewart

    I had this exact problem in Seoul. I was in a bar about 10pm and the Korean barman asked if I had photo ID coz from 11pm the MPs would be patrolling to catch servicemen breaking the curfew - no ID you get taken away til you can prove you are not a serviceman, as happened to a Canadian customer the previous night.

  • 2

    mdepaiva

    The only reason their are now patrols on Okinawa is that even with the curfew a couple of idiots still managed to get in trouble. The mainland bases are also under curfew, but as far as I know there have been no incidents that would require patrols. This is a political football folks.

  • 3

    TokyoHipHop

    I don't mind telling people im not in military, I mean most of the Japanese mostly see American and foreign miltary often so how would they know can't blame them. But I i hate the army teenie brats gotta bring the stereotypical behavior to Japan and make it bad for the good acting foreigners.

  • -2

    USNinJapan2

    Yubaru

    If you have been in the military for that long you should know that the military doesnt give one rats ass about "rights" or where you are. You are in Japan, hence you are guilty by association. You can not think of yourself as a child but as a part of a group that lives under a dictatorship. The military is not a democracy.

    No kidding. Thanks for pointing out the obvious that the blanket curfew is not based on reason and thanks for doing it so condescendingly. The senior leadership of the other bases may benefit from your little lesson as well since a good number of them feel as I do regarding this curfew.

    On a separate note, off Okinawa our liberty problems and incidents are caused by our civilian employees and contractors as much if not more than by our uniformed personnel. It's laughable to us on the mainland that this curfew is expressly for uniformed personnel only and completely ignores a very significant risk group.

  • 2

    Realistic

    Well played!

    Now get ready for more victims! :)

  • -1

    Olegek

    Stars & Stripes newspaper reported that the patrols will include plain-clothes service members from all branches who will walk the streets of the city between 11 p.m. and 5:30 a.m.

    Is it Japan or US territory ??

  • 1

    Yubaru

    No kidding. Thanks for pointing out the obvious that the blanket curfew is not based on reason and thanks for doing it so condescendingly. The senior leadership of the other bases may benefit from your little lesson as well since a good number of them feel as I do regarding this curfew.

    Sorry but I've been there and experienced that, and have been out longer than you've been in, AND I know it's a knee jerk reaction by the brass too. But that's the military, punish everyone for the screw-ups of a couple or few.

    Dont like it..........get out.

  • 2

    USNinJapan2

    Olegek

    Our liberty patrols (uniformed or plain-clothed) are not armed in any way and are out enforcing only US military regulations, such as this curfew, that the Japanese police cannot/don't enforce. These patrols are not skirting any Japanese laws and are expected of the military by our host city governments and local police as they do prevent incidents to some extent and ensure a more rapid military police response to minor incidents that the Japanese police don;t want to bother with. Fundamentally it's no different from a Japanese parent out rounding up her kids because it's dark and it's time for them to go home.

  • -2

    Yubaru

    Fundamentally it's no different from a Japanese parent out rounding up her kids because it's dark and it's time for them to go home.

    Fundamentally it's HUGELY different. First off the US Military shouldn't have to round up it's "kids" and tell them when to go home, they SHOULD be adults and act as such. And next if you use this analogy you are admitting that members of the US Military are not mature enough to wipe their own butts and need Momma to do it for them.

  • 1

    USNinJapan2

    Yubaru

    Give it a rest. You know that I don't feel that these patrols or the curfew are necessary. Legally, there is no difference, and this is the aspect Olegek was commenting on judging by his choice of words, i.e., "US territory."

  • 3

    USNinJapan2

    And next if you use this analogy you are admitting that members of the US Military are not mature enough to wipe their own butts and need Momma to do it for them.

    Also Yubaru, my analogy is perfect because that is precisely what we are accused of being by the Okinawan government, anti-military contingent, and the media (as well some here on JT); that we are children who can't behave and need to be locked up. Instead of refuting this absurd portrayal of the vast majority of responsible law abiding service members, USFJ in effect validates and encourages it by imposing these curfews and patrols that indeed treat us like children. You may feel that it's useless and not take issue with it but I do.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    Give it a rest. You know that I don't feel that these patrols or the curfew are necessary.

    Give it a rest? You are the one that made a comment that is FUNDAMENTALLY wrong. Cant stand the heat.....get out of the military. There is no need to equate a US Military member with a Japanese child and the MP's as their mothers.

    If I were still in the military I would take offense at the analogy, and I am just calling you out on it!

  • -2

    darknuts

    It's about time! Shore patrols are already common place in based on the mainland. This will cut down on incidents drastically.

  • 0

    BertieWooster

    USNinJapan2-san,

    Fundamentally it's no different from a Japanese parent out rounding up her kids because it's dark and it's time for them to go home.

    That's how it comes across to me too.

    And, let's face it, many of them are kids, suddenly away from home, with money to spend, and with all the temptations that Okinawa has to offer and nobody watching them.

  • 1

    AustPaul

    Stewart-I would have thought the onus would be on the MPs to prove you 'were' a US serviceman otherwise it looks like a wrongful arrest/detainment to me.

    USN in Japan, my guess is that Okinawa has had most of the problems involving US service members hence the need for patrols. Has the rest of Japan had any other issues? I am not up to speed as I am no longer there.

  • 1

    USNinJapan2

    Aust Paul

    Has the rest of Japan had any other issues? I am not up to speed as I am no longer there.

    None. That is why I am arguing that the curfew should be limited to Okinawa.

  • 1

    Matthew Simon

    And, let's face it, many of them are kids, suddenly away from home, with money to spend, and with all the temptations that Okinawa has to offer and nobody watching them.

    You are correct Bertie, I agree with that statement 100%

  • 0

    whiskeysour

    It's needed - I'm all for it.

  • 1

    Matthew Simon

    liberty problems and incidents are caused by our civilian employees and contractors as much if not more than by our uniformed personnel.

    Lets see a uniformed member try and enforce orders on a civilian. I would tell him to go pack sand and I would be right. The UCMJ does not apply to civilians or contractors. The worst they could do is bar you from the base. Any time they have tried to enforce "military rules" on civilian workers it is almost immediately repealed because it violates our constitutional rights. Furthermore there are far less incidents involving civilians than military but yes they do occur at times.

  • 0

    Balefire

    It has been a long time since I was in the service, so I'm surprised that the patrols include plain-clothes military people.

    Why not the uniformed, clearly marked Shore Patrol or MPs (I've forgotten what the Air Force called them) that used to do the job quite adequately? I don't see any advantage to plain-clothes military patrol people. I may be missing something, but it sounds to me like asking for confusion and misunderstanding about whether some person in plain clothes actually has the right to to accost you.

    Perhaps some current military person(s) could enlighten me?

  • 1

    Crazedinjapan

    To say that the problem only exists in Okinawa is misleading. I have been living in Japan for over a decade, there are many instances that I have personally witnessed up until recent in roppongi, Yokohama , Machida where drunken service members are causing fights , doing lewd acts in bars , disrespecting Japanese and foreign residents. Most of them tend to be young ...few older ...excuses I always hear are " we've been out for two months ..where that is the excuse for behaving in a offensive fashion.

    I think anyone from base(s) should not be allowed to drink off base unless on leave or vacation. All personnel should be turned over immediately to police if in any kind of offensive or abusive situation. Residents who work from other countries have to follow and adhere to these laws ...

  • -1

    USNinJapan2

    Matthew Simon

    You're missing a huge point, and that is that all of these so-called proactive measures are being taken to prevent violations of Japanese law first, and by extension the UCMJ (if the member in question is uniformed). A DUI hit-and-run, sexual assault, physical assault, etc. committed by a GS or USCS employee is as much in violation of host nation laws and damaging to bilateral relations as one committed by a uniformed service member. On Okinawa this curfew and other restrictive measures are being implemented to prevent crimes committed by military personnel because that is the demographic that is (ostensibly) committing crimes and causing incidents. Here on the mainland though where the military crime rate is considerably lower than on Okinawa, civilian employees are just as likely to be the offender as I've stated before. That's why a curfew just on military personnel, when applied to the mainland installations, is useless and only affects half of the target population. You are correct that the UCMJ does not apply to DOD civilian employees (unless in a combat zone) but that's not something you should flaunt or be proud of. In contrast to to military personnel who face incarceration as well as prosecution under the UCMJ, civilians, when found to have committed a crime, are oftentimes only administratively punished and sent home because the base CO doesn't have the authority to apply the UCMJ to them. IMO it's a loophole that needs to be addressed.

  • -2

    USNinJapan2

    Matthew Simon

    Lets see a uniformed member try and enforce orders on a civilian. I would tell him to go pack sand and I would be right.

    Are you not aware that there are military generated orders that do indeed apply to civilian employees? There certainly are rules and regulations that apply to both military personnel as well as SOFA sponsored civilian employees and contractors. The civilian clothing policy is an example of one such regulation albeit probably the most trivial one. It's ordered by the military commander and applies equally to his military subordinates as well as his civilian employees. There are many more serious regulations that apply to you (assuming you're currently a SOFA sponsored civilian employee) and violating them will earn you your very own Civilian Administrative Forum (CAF Board) at which your case will be reviewed by the base's military leadership. Depending on the severity of your misbehavior and whether you've had prior cases, the board can punish you in many ways. For minor offenses you may just get a warning letter, have certain base privileges revoked, be ordered to pay restitution for damaged property, be assigned community service, or be removed from government housing. But if your offense is serious enough, the military commander can revoke your SOFA status and order your removal from Japan for an early return to the US, which effectively means that you are fired from your job because you will no longer be able to do your job at the post here in Japan for which you were hired. And, if you are uncooperative (like you tell them to "go pack sand") and refuse to leave Japan despite being fired and barred from the base, the regional military commander will request the Government of Japan to actively deport you from the country and you will forever be a persona non grata.

  • 2

    Matthew Simon

    I was referring to those the have residence status. We are also civilians.

  • 3

    jessebaybay

    But it is, as you say, a pain in the rear end having to explain to people I'm not American. The usual question is, "What part of the States are you from?"

    Haha, bertie, I hear that. Except telling people your not american isn't just limited to japan. I have known a few americans to say they are canadian depending on what part of the world they are in. It makes sense though, I simple white lie can save you a heck of a lot of trouble.

  • 1

    Stephen Jez

    I bet all the expats that hang out in the Naha area can't wait to tell off the shore patrol when they mistake them for military.

  • -2

    USNinJapan2

    Matthew Simon

    Then it may have been helpful to mention that you are in that minority group. Without clarification that you are a civilian employee with residence status people reading your post will assume that your blanket statement that the military cannot enforce regulations on civilians (most civilians, not just your individual case) is true when in fact it is false as I explained above.

  • -1

    flipper2

    The curfews remind me of Martial law. I propose they move a few clubs and bars inside the base, that way nobody can complain anymore, then make a curfew on the locals.

  • 1

    Realistic

    the patrols will include plain-clothes service members from all branches who will walk the streets of the city between 11 p.m. and 5:30 a.m.

    Who gonna patrol these plain-clothes patrols out on streets during such an attractive time period to have some tequila shots?

    I got my popcorn... anyone joining?

  • -1

    noriyosan73

    The fox guards the hen house. Just go away, please.

  • 0

    CrisGerSan

    I am glad to hear of added steps being taken to restore order and to restrain US military personnel who have shown great disrespect to Japan and Japanese people.

    I also am sad to see the very problem that is having to be addressed repeated here....lack of respect for Japanese culture and people by US service personnel. I am an American citizen and the US military personnel are my employees, they work for me, and i appologize for them and for their lack of courtesy and respect. I am sorry that respect has declined so much in our culture and that our representatives there in Japan and posting here show this sad decline in our own culture. I cannot do more than apologize but i do request that future posts show that respect as such service people ARE representing my country and i am ashamed frankly to see how that is being carried out by some. It is our duty to honour and respect Japan and Japanese people, otherwise why are we there at all? thank you.

  • 1

    Biagon

    USNinJapan. Hey my man, I feel your arguments to a degree and you are making some interesting points, but I have to push back a bit on your comments on where the problem is.

    I've been in and out of Japan since Nov 1995. Started in Atsugi, worked my way to Yokosuka, bounced around and I am now on my twilight tour in Okinawa.

    To say the problem is just Okinawa is not true. Send me a private message and l will hit you up with more information. Okinawa happens to be a special powder keg, so when hinge happen here, it gets nuts.

    Plaincloth patrols have happened all over JP. There was a period of time when Roppongi was off limits and they had folks walking around taking pictures and asking to see IDs.

    Don fall for the Expat lament. The only reason why these cats are even able to be in Japan is because of the military presence.

    Expats/people living in Japan/Okinawa. Please think before you post. You are not such a privileged class of people, to be crapping on the military folks here.

    I wish I could post the pictures from my thanksgiving party last night, house full of Japanese and Okinawans. Beautiful mixed children running around. My young Marines and Sailors enjoying a home cooked meal.

    Enjoy your day people.

  • -5

    YuriOtani

    Suppose I am suppose to thank the American base people for going out and harassing people? Their patrols if not against Japanese law are against the spirit. Foreign troops enforcing American rules. It is a gross violation of our sovereignty.

    Again I will not cooperate with these people and ask all around me to do the same. Best thing a bar can do is not to allow them inside. If they enter call the Japanese Police and tell them them are trespassing. I will be happy to help them press charges, criminal trespass.

    Cris you do not understand is that these patrols are a disrespect to the people of Okinawa. They have no right harassing people for their appearance. Many Okinawa people are part American and a lot do not speak English.

  • -4

    YuriOtani

    Biagon legal residents have the right to go about their business and not be harassed by foreign troops. Actually they have more rights than military the Okinawa people want to see leave. SOFA people are unwelcome pests.

  • 0

    volland

    I am sure the inhabitants will be so happy to see armed Americans walking around all over their city... At least now they will understand once an forever that they live in a country occupied by a foreign power.

  • 0

    realdoll

    It's got to be embarrassing for the commander to be blown off by his own troops.. so what better solution. Just have patrols in plain clothes. This way during curfew hours the locals assume everyone is "on patrol" and not blowing off curfew orders.. saving face.

  • 2

    Yubaru

    They were on the news last night. Patrolling in groups of 4 around the streets in Naha. There were NO Japanese police accompanying the patrols either. This is a problem waiting to happen.

    While they can walk around all night for all I care, it is a free world, they had better watch out who they decide to look at and check for curfew violations and how they apprehend anyone found breaking it.

  • 0

    hereforever

    As a former MP and now civilian, I don't mind at all taking 15 seconds to show my ID and thanking the MPs for keeping the peace. I do it for J-Cops often enough. No sweat off my back for law enforcement doing their job.

  • -4

    YuriOtani

    hereandforever I mind being stopped by foreign military. My guy is offended as well and neither of us will EVER show ID to them. As for their being "law enforcement" they are NOT in Japan. Their authority stops at the base gates. I do wonder if they carry weapons? As far as I am concerned these patrols are part of the continuing American occupation of Okinawa. The prefecture government needs to prevent them form harassing the innocent people on Okinawa.

  • 0

    hereforever

    YuriOtani, I hear your point but I can't understand why you use the word 'harassing'. By law any foreigner approach by law enforcement personnel must show ID. I can't see the MPs 'harassing' anyone. They work to protect the peace and freedom you so enjoy. That said, I don't believe foot patrols out on the town will prevent any military person from causing trouble. Like many have already posted, they can't cover the whole island.

  • 2

    lucabrasi

    @hereforever

    You don't see any difference between the legitimate, local police force and a bunch of guys with no authority over you at all demanding to see some ID because you is white/black/hispanic/whatever??

  • 1

    Alphaape

    Are you not aware that there are military generated orders that do indeed apply to civilian employees?

    @ USNinJapan2: I understand your point, and as a retired GS employee I fall under the provisions as you have described. But if a person is over here as a tourist, then the military doesn't have any right to come up to them and ask for their papers. As long as they are not on any base, then they are free to come and go as long as they abide by Japanese laws. I don't think that the military can enact something like "Posse Comititus" here in Japan on civilians that are not SOFA sponsored. If a SOFA person really wanted to break any curfew that was imposed on them, the easiest thing to do would be to just go out on town without any miltary issued ID. If stopped by any of the patrols, they only need to show them a driver's license and state that their passport is back in their hotel/residence.

    As long as they don't get seen driving an "Y" plated car or are known to the patrols, they should be able to get away with it. The downside to that is if something happens to them, they are pretty much done for.

    For those who keep saying that it is all just a product of bad military guys running amok in the streets of Japan, I have seen shore patrols in Waikiki in Honolulu when RIMPAC comes around. The patrols are made up of USN, and other countries Shore patrols members to get their sailors back safely from liberty. I have seen it come in handy when the Aussies get into fights in Waikik, and have seen a few JMSDF have to reel in some of their sailors who have had a bit too much to drink.

    My point is, it happens everywhere, and when and where it does, the military (no matter what country) tend to take care of those who break local laws.

  • -3

    YuriOtani

    hereandfornow these are not Japanese law enforcement. I do not have to do ANYTHING for them. They need to stay on their bases and let the legal law enforcement for Japan do their jobs. You do understand I am not a "foreigner" in my home country. It is like the old days when they went around Okinawa enforcing the law. I have ZERO respect for these people. My husband is no longer under their thumb. He is a legal resident of Japan. American patrols lack legal standing.

  • 0

    USNinJapan2

    YuriOtani

    Again I will not cooperate with these people...

    LOL. Didn't you read the article? These patrols are in Okinawa, not Oklahoma, so you needn't concern yourself.

  • -6

    YuriOtani

    USNinJapan2 am going to be on Okinawa soon with my family. I have reason to be concerned. My guy is nervous around American military. He will never show his ID to any MP. The best he will ever call them is a foxtrot alpha.

  • -1

    Blacklabel

    having patrols in one area just lets everyone know to go somewhere else. It wont have any impact on solving the problem. Plus it is going to create problems the first time the patrol tries to accost someone they have no business accosting. If I am a tourist walking around a bunch of plain clothers military guys with no Japanese police with them start asking me for an ID, its gonna be a problem.

  • 0

    mpoki

    @YuriOtani

    I have to agree with USNinJapan2, did you not read the article at all? I dont understand why these posters keep referring to being stopped by US Military Law Enforcement if you are not military or are retired. I am almost positive that your husband, although as you said used to be military and one of those SOFA pests does not look like he is Active Duty. So why would you need to worry yourself about being stopped and asked for your ID? The curfew is for MILITARY members assigned to Okinawa, not dependents.

    Again I wonder if you even read the article, the only time a military member/MP is armed off base is when responding to an off base incident, where we are accompanied by a translator and meet up with the JP's. The patrols have no reason to be armed and are most likely OSI/CID/NCIS or off duty SNCOs/Officers.

    Your kind of thinking is the exact reason why the military and the rest of the Okinawa community who thinks everything the news tells them is true, can never live together peacefully. Im sorry but who is "My guy", is that your husband? What is disrespectful about US Military members walking the streets asking American servicemembers for their ID's in an attempt to make sure nothing else stupid happens? It's sad it has to be done in the first place, but if it helps to get the military out of the bad spotlight it is already in, I welcome it.

  • -1

    mpoki

    @Blacklabel

    If your not military and dont have an ID card, just simply a residency card or tourist visa stamped passport, and you visit Okinawa or some military town knowing this is happening, what is your problem? If your not military and your asked for ID you simply state that you are not military showing your card or passport and your on your way. What problem is there going to be if your stopped? I dont think your going to start that much of a problem other than complain.

    If the JP's and prefecture government want this, and say that they have no problem with the patrols doing this, you are in Okinawa and really have no say so as to whether you want it to happen or not

  • -5

    YuriOtani

    mpoki My guy is a disabled Vet of the Iraq war. He has lost all respect for the US military.

    Look how do these patrols know if they are US military? The US military is made up of peoples all over the world. So they have to ask anyone "suspect", you understand it is racial profiling. What will happen if Okinawa people attempt to shield them from the military police? Why are they going about by themselves? If a member of the Japanese Police asks it is legal.

  • 1

    mpoki

    Im a little confused by your post, in your earlier comments you ranted and raved how Okinawan people should be so against the patrols and this was so disrespectful to the people of Okinawa. Now you are asking what would happen if the Okinawan people attempt to shield military members from the MP's. Which one is it, you dont want these patrols out and you think all Okinawans should help to get military members in trouble or they should help to keep them from getting in trouble?

    The regular straight leg MP will more than likely not be patrolling in these groups by themselves. However OSI and the likes do frequently work with the JP's and the JP equivalents and are recognized as law enforcement not to local civilians but to the military. As a law enforcement officer myself, racial profiling is at times needed, but there has to be a limit to how and to what information you are using to profile that person. If stats show in a certain place, a certain type of person commits a crime, I think you are able to single that type of person out.

    In other words, no one is going to ask you or your husband for their ID, so stop making it out to be that these patrols are asking everyone for their ID. Most military members can recognize an American military member when we see them from their walk to their mannerisms to how they talk. And if a mistake is made, and you know the person is law enforcement and doing their job, show your card/passport and get on with your life

  • 0

    Yubaru

    By law any foreigner approach by law enforcement personnel must show ID. I can't see the MPs 'harassing' anyone.

    By law? Law enforcement personnel from Japan, dont try to imply that the MP's have the same rights they dont.

    Oh and like others here too if an MP or one of these patrolling types stops me without a Japanese cop present I will ignore them.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    I am almost positive that your husband, although as you said used to be military and one of those SOFA pests does not look like he is Active Duty. So why would you need to worry yourself about being stopped and asked for your ID? The curfew is for MILITARY members assigned to Okinawa, not dependents.

    Really? You think you could tell the difference? I am 6'4" weigh about 200 lbs, have a short, 1mm, haircut, blue eyes, and in pretty good shape. And you think they can tell I am not in the military? Good luck.

  • 0

    mpoki

    @Yubaru

    I think most people here can tell the difference between someone who is in the military and who is not. As you just explained yourself, you fit the bill of someone that is in or used to be in the military, as I believe you might have said at one time you were in the military.

    So if you know yourself you might somewhat fit that bill and you are visiting Okinawa and know that this is going on, and further know that any MP or OSI type as well as any E-7 and above can ask to see someones ID, why not comply and get on with your life? I think most of the people who have so much of a problem with it are not currently in Okinawa. If you thought about what the problems would lead to if you did not show your ID, the whole island has their eyes on us and takes pictures randomly of service members (especially on gate 2 street), do you think refusing to show an ID and whatever problem this may cause would be seen as that in the media?

    The only thing that would be reported is that an American (probably military, because the media is not going to differentiate you from anything else) refused to show an ID and that this patrol is not working. All of this would further cause problems, that are not needed at this time, giving more ammunition to the news channels here. I cant understand why people are so apprehensive about this, if your not military, get over yourself and show your passport or residency card.

    Of course we all know that the patrols have no authority over local national civilians, but they do have authority to ask for an ID card of someone who might fit the description of a military member (somewhat in shape, clean cut, not with a full mountain man beard, etc.). I am pretty sure this has the backing of the JP's and the government as we MP's are not allowed to even respond off base without first notifying the JP's and a translator tagging along, so I am sure these patrols have been "blessed", as the courtesy patrols who patrol gate 2, have an understanding of what they can and cannot do while off base, through what the JP's tell us and we brief to those patrolling

  • 0

    Yubaru

    Of course we all know that the patrols have no authority over local national civilians, but they do have authority to ask for an ID card of someone who might fit the description of a military member

    And what happens when that someone they ask tells them to go take a flying you know what?

  • 0

    Yubaru

    I am pretty sure this has the backing of the JP's and the government as we MP's are not allowed to even respond off base without first notifying the JP's and a translator tagging along,

    Really? Then tell me why they were patrolling around Naha last night all by their self?

  • 0

    Yubaru

    Here on the mainland though where the military crime rate is considerably lower than on Okinawa, civilian employees are just as likely to be the offender as I've stated before. That's why a curfew just on military personnel, when applied to the mainland installations, is useless and only affects half of the target population

    Wait for it, it's your guys turn to be in the "crime" department. Yokohama, urinating over the wall on to another customer in an internet cafe.

  • 0

    mpoki

    Really? Then tell me why they were patrolling around Naha last night all by their self?

    Because those are not straight leg MP's, they are more than likely OSI/CID/NCIS or members of all the services courtesy patrol. They are allowed to patrol by themselves as approved by the JP's and the government.

    If you seem so informed maybe you would recognize that you have never seen an on duty armed MP patrolling off base like in Korea.

    Please tell me where in the news report last night on ONN/QAB/OTV said that any of these patrol members were military police? I will admit I am not completely fluent in Japanese, but there was no mention of them being law enforcement, as has been said in the comments here. The courtesy patrol members are usually from other career fields from all branches and look the same as the patrols that were out last night. You dont have to be LE to patrol for bad behavior off base, thats why the courtesy patrol members are granted to patrol off base in place of us, given certain duties and responsibilities to operate

  • -1

    Yubaru

    Please tell me where in the news report last night on ONN/QAB/OTV said that any of these patrol members were military police? I will admit I am not completely fluent in Japanese, but there was no mention of them being law enforcement, as has been said in the comments here.

    The inference is that they are MP's in plain clothes.

    Oh and the Japanese government and Okinawan authorities have been notified that a Marine from Futenma has gone AWOL too.

  • 2

    USNinJapan2

    Yubaru

    Wait for it, it's your guys turn to be in the "crime" department. Yokohama, urinating over the wall on to another customer in an internet cafe.

    Not too worried. It takes a serious and really newsworthy crime before the city government in Yokosuka starts to froth at the mouth and demands heads and a total lock-down like Okinawa does with every minor incident. The incident that occurred in Yokohama last night is embarrassing and inexcusable but, like the recent case in Okinawa with the Marine 1st LT passing out in a stranger's foyer, is forgettable and wouldn't have been picked up by the national media had the two more serious incidents not occurred previously in Okinawa. I would be surprised if the curfew and patrols that are currently in effect on the mainland commands changes any because of last night. The USS George Washington, to whom the Sailor belonged, may crack down on their crew but I doubt that USFJ or CNRJ will order additional restrictions.

  • 0

    realdoll

    It's also a way to get the person committing a crime, or not .. off the streets and away from the J cops and media. Try to cover up any future embarrasments. Thing is.. there is a lot of civilians and other types of caucasians (mainly) in Naha that are not even american who gladly tell the military patrols in or out of uniform to screw themselves.

  • 1

    Yubaru

    Next up; lockdown.

  • -1

    Yubaru

    Thing is.. there is a lot of civilians and other types of caucasians (mainly) in Naha that are not even american who gladly tell the military patrols in or out of uniform to screw themselves.

    I agree, and it's those folks that could cause more trouble for the military too. The patrols, courtesy or otherwise, dont need to be in Naha.

    The military could make Naha off limits between set hours with the exception of those who live there and up the ante when it comes to penalties. But there is no way these patrols can cover the entire city and are just a PR move.

  • -5

    YuriOtani

    Not been answered but do they carry handcuffs, mace and firearms? It is an insult to me that armed american military policeman can freely enter our Okinawa business. If they suspect an America is hiding will they search our homes too? Again this is a disrespect to the people of Okinawa.

  • 1

    mpoki

    @YuriOtani: Not been answered but do they carry handcuffs, mace and firearms? It is an insult to me that armed american military policeman can freely enter our Okinawa business. If they suspect an America is hiding will they search our homes too? Again this is a disrespect to the people of Okinawa.

    Other posters have already answered your questions, no one other than law enforcement officers or those trained by LE can carry mace or firearms. Again, the only military who are armed off base are MP's that are responding to an incident off base along with JP's who are also armed.

    Nobody is entering any establishments armed, what are you not getting about this? First you say you would do everything to make sure military members are caught and tried in court then you ask about what if people help service members hide from the patrols, your not making sense at all. Where did they say that anyone was armed or entering local businesses armed? Your inferring things to get others roused up. Our own Okinawan CG's cant even respond off base with us armed, they must de-arm before going off base.

    Again, what is disrespectful to the people of Okinawa? You seem to not want to answer this question

  • 0

    mpoki

    @YubaruThe inference is that they are MP's in plain clothes.

    Oh and the Japanese government and Okinawan authorities have been notified that a Marine from Futenma has gone AWOL too.

    Im not speaking for all armed services here, but no MP's (straight leg or investigations) go out on these types of patrols in plain clothes, mostly because there are not enough personnel to send out doing that when they could be on base doing their job. Just another topic to infer to get people starting rumors. As I said not one courtesy patrol member is an MP, they cant even enter clubs or bars, they have to first notify the LE Desk, who then notifies the JP's asking for permission to go off base.

    As far as a Marine being AWOL, what does that have to do with any of the past events? That happens everywhere, regardless of overseas or stateside. Do you stand outside of the Police HQ to learn when the local authorities are notified of an incident?

  • -6

    YuriOtani

    It is disrespectful because armed Americans went everywhere before reversion. They were in control of our island. Next the curfew is American policy and not Japanese law. The thing is no American soldier should carry arms off base. The job of law enforcement is the government of Japans.

    You forget I went through the Koza riots where the American military police attacked the peaceful Okinawa people like rabid animals. So you are telling me these "patrols" carry no weapons? What would they do if they spot an American? Will they use tear gas on Okinawa people to make an arrest? These patrols are an incident just waiting to happen.

    I think Americans need to follow Japanese law in Japan. American regulations should not be enforced off base. What happens if they arrest a Non Sofa foreign person? Will they put them in a cell on base?

  • 2

    Matthew Simon

    That is the whole point, of my argument. military courtesy patrols can't easily differentiate between those of us that are under there jurisdiction or not. I shouldn't be forced to grow a beard or my hair long just so I don't get targeted by them. The real problem lies in small unit leadership and people not taking care of their own. That is the reason these incidents that cause these kinds of actions happen in the first place. From the rape down to this last incident with the Marine officer they all could have been avoided using a little common sense. I am sure that the offending parties were seen by others that could have prevented their actions but it seems they chose to look the other way. And these kind of reactions are the result.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    As far as a Marine being AWOL, what does that have to do with any of the past events? That happens everywhere, regardless of overseas or stateside. Do you stand outside of the Police HQ to learn when the local authorities are notified of an incident?

    If you ever have a TV on and watch any of the local news this stuff is broadcast (ad naseum) daily. Wait my bad, more like 2 or 3 times a day during regular news breaks and on the daily morning, noon, and nightly news as well.

    Your sarcasm aside here, no I do not stand nor sit outside the police HQ, but with the constant reminders on local and national news ANYTHING that happens now is "major" news.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    As far as a Marine being AWOL, what does that have to do with any of the past events?

    This deserves it's own reply;

    It is just reinforcing to the general public that the military can not control it's people on or off base. It used to be just local news that carried stories like this, but now it's on the national news too.

    The Military has requested, according to the news again, that the Japanese foreign ministry keep an eye out for the AWOL/deserter Marine and take him into custody if found.

  • -3

    YuriOtani

    a revision of the SOFA is needed, big point is American military police should never enforce law off base. If an American needs to be arrested than the Japanese police will do it but only if they are breaking Japanese law.

  • -2

    mpoki

    If you ever have a TV on and watch any of the local news this stuff is broadcast (ad naseum) daily. Wait my bad, more like 2 or 3 times a day during regular news breaks and on the daily morning, noon, and nightly news as well.

    Yea, I know that, I actually live here, thats probably the reason why I can name all the local news channels here. I dont watch any of the news channels here anymore. Everyone knows the patrols are a PR move and another knee jerk reaction that anyone in the military is used to. My only thing is that none of these patrol members are military and nor will they be apprehending anyone. All they can do is check for individuals breaking curfew and hold their ID card, not detaining them or anything else. Who knows if it will work, but trying to make a problem out of it just because they are not accompanied by JP's is not the answer, especially knowing how closely we are being watched. If anything trying to make a problem out of it is just icing on the cake for another story on the Americans from one of the local channels

  • -2

    mpoki

    @YuriOtani:* It is disrespectful because armed Americans went everywhere before reversion. They were in control of our island. Next the curfew is American policy and not Japanese law. The thing is no American soldier should carry arms off base. The job of law enforcement is the government of Japans.

    You forget I went through the Koza riots where the American military police attacked the peaceful Okinawa people like rabid animals. So you are telling me these "patrols" carry no weapons? What would they do if they spot an American? Will they use tear gas on Okinawa people to make an arrest? These patrols are an incident just waiting to happen.

    I think Americans need to follow Japanese law in Japan. American regulations should not be enforced off base. What happens if they arrest a Non Sofa foreign person? Will they put them in a cell on base?*

    I will just stop trying to get through to you that they will not be armed. If they do encounter a military person, do you think they are going to shoot them or tear gas them? All your doing is trying to throw fire on something that is already burning. Other posters have already said they wont be armed, but you keep harping on it.

    Speaking on the reversion, you are talking about two totally different time periods. Although things have changed and there have been many recent incidents, I dont believe we are anywhere near the ferocity of the Koza riots, which started after a drunk american hit a local in modern day Koza. After the MP's arrived trying to get the americans out of the area, tensions rose and the crowd began to attack the MP's who fired off warning shots. After the locals made entry to the base was when tear gas was reported to be used. How do you equate any of this to what is going on now?

    Who said that any of the patrol would be apprehending anyone? No SOFA individual can touch a non-SOFA person. Even when locals are detained on base, only an Okinawan CG can put handcuffs on a local. Stop trying to make more out of this than what has already happened.

  • 0

    hereforever

    I really don't understand what you all are worried/complaining about. My wife and I go to Yokosuka now and then. The MPs are not the monsters you all put them to be. If one asks me for ID, I show it, thank them for doing their job and carry one with my plans. No skin off my back! They are polite and friendly.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    Guess what.....another incident on tonights tv news RBC.....a military folk type got arrested for DUI. What's next? This is getting old!

  • 0

    Yubaru

    My only thing is that none of these patrol members are military and nor will they be apprehending anyone.

    Huh? they ALL are active duty military, who did you think was going to do the patrols?

  • 1

    RealJapan

    @mpoki: Reading your posts I see why some "law enforcement" in Japan get the name "Keystone" and now allow plain clothes MPs to enforce the curfew in Okinawa. Real rocket science going on here. Police Academy 2 at its best. Someone please call Inspector Gadget. Homer Simpson would do better standing patrol. LOL.

  • -1

    Matthew Simon

    On another note, apparently last night a sailor in Tokyo out after curfew rented a booth in a manga cafe and wandered around naked and peed on the floor.

    Story here http://kotaku.com/5962846/navy-serviceman-says-he-wasnt-totally-nude-at-the-comic-cafe-but-he-did-pee

  • 2

    Yubaru

    On another note, apparently last night a sailor in Tokyo out after curfew rented a booth in a manga cafe and wandered around naked and peed on the floor.

    Read a previous post of mine!

  • -4

    YuriOtani

    mpoki interesting so only a moron would hand their government ID to them. So I guess if people do not cooperate they will have to move on. Good but if they bother me will call the Japanese Police. Get someone to video it and get it to a TV station ASAP.

  • 1

    Yubaru

    Good but if they bother me will call the Japanese Police. Get someone to video it and get it to a TV station ASAP.

    Yuri, youtube would be better. On this we agree......(hey the world didnt end).....

  • 2

    TheDevilsAssistant

    How do you equate any of this to what is going on now?

    Because, as I see it, with all the control measures put in place by the military, every stupid crime committed by a service member as fuel to the already burning fire. Every stupid crime committed by a service member is a slap to the face of the already upset Okinawans. Can you really blame them for thier anger? I feel that if more is not done, a replay of the Koza riots are not too far fetched. And as peaceful as the Okinawans typically are, the current escalated protests should not be taken with a grain of salt.

    I sure hope the military on Okinawa will be able to control thier members soon.

  • 3

    Yubaru

    I hate to say it but as much as I think that these recent incidents are really no big deal in the larger picture, folks in the military here in Okinawa seem to be going out of their way to screw up.

    I mean hell, first two get arrested for rape, then an assault, then a drunk and disorderly, then a desertion/awol, then a dui, the off base patrols, etc etc etc.......the former all coming after the military in it's wisdom placed a curfew on it's troops, and the troops going FU to their commands. It's hard to sit back and say hey they are trying, when things just keep on happening.

  • -4

    YuriOtani

    It seems the harder the Military "leadership" tries the more it screws up by the numbers. Everything they have done so far is for Public Relations. However having roving gangs of military searching for curfew violations is a mistake. It puts them in the face of the Okinawa people. Now what will they do if the troops say FU to their face? Do they try and get the ID by force or do they walk away? All it will take is for them to be in a confrontation with a non SOFA foreigner or a Okinawa person for there to be trouble. This whole mess seems more like discipline for a boarding school than for professional military.

  • 1

    TheDevilsAssistant

    Yuri, gonna have to agree that this is just PR that is also blowing back up in the militarys face. I, too do not understand this patrol fiasco. It doesn't, and wont fix a damn thing. I do not know how I would react if a uniformed service member came up to me off base and asked me to show some ID. I do know that I will show him nothing. I guess I would need to live on Okinawa to actually know how I would react. I can see trouble coming when they ask for some ID of a prior service member that currently lives on Okinawa that got out on bad terms. Guaranteed that the language will escalate. I wonder if they are taught what to do in these circumstances. They cant hold them without thier consent until the Japanese authorities arrive. If the civilian runs, they cant chase them. Are they informed to just walk away?

    hmmmm...interesting to see how this will play out.

  • 0

    Richard bHard

    I am not genius but i doubt that having people patrol areas frequented by military personnel will prevent incidents,in fact there seems to be an increase in incidents since this whole curfew started! No I know these "leaders" think they are doing what is "right" but I think they are merely adding to the problem by implementing MASS PUNISHMENT! It is only a matter of time before all that built up tension and frustration that many military members feel reaches a boiling point.Why not try offering an incentive instead of babysitting ? Most of these guys work hard and do the right thing and just want to go out and enjoy themselves,but instead they get punished for the mistakes of a few knuckleheads.

  • 1

    Hikozaemon

    A curfew!? Patrols?! It is like those guys are in the military or something!

    Hang about...

  • -1

    jeff198527

    Why can't these overseas US bases go the way of the dodo?

  • 0

    big_papa74

    USNinJapan2 Do you have any statistics to back up your claim that civilians/contractors are responsible for as many liberty incidents as military? I have been in Yokosuka for over 12 years as military, contractor, and GS. I haven't really seen an abundance of incidents involving civilians. Now, when it comes to what rules can be enforced on civilians the base is very limitied. You mention the civilian clothes policy but that is only enforcable for civilians when they are on base, once they go out the gate, nothing they can do. Now, as part of SOFA civilians have to respect shore patrol's and base security authority. They can not subject non-military to restrictions as that authority comes from the UCMJ. In the past they have attempted to apply restrictions to civilians but have been swiftly rebutted because there is no authority to do that. This curfew is unfair for the 98% of the Active Duty that are properly behaved and respectful. Japanese media is spotlighting every little thing right now because it is big news. The patrols in Naha are more for political show than anything. If somebody wants to stay out past curfew there are plenty of places to hide and the "leadership" knows this. They just want people to see that the military is out there trying to police it's own.

  • -2

    technosphere

    "Suppose I am suppose to thank the American base people for going out and harassing people? Their patrols if not against Japanese law are against the spirit. Foreign troops enforcing American rules. It is a gross violation of our sovereignty.

    Again I will not cooperate with these people and ask all around me to do the same. Best thing a bar can do is not to allow them inside. If they enter call the Japanese Police and tell them them are trespassing. I will be happy to help them press charges, criminal trespass. "

    Good point. Why many people of Okinawa still tolerate American invaders on their soil, I wonder?

  • 1

    Fadamor

    I don't have any "inside" information, but here's how I see these patrols operating:

    Patrol spots a guy/guys who appear to be military walking around and using U.S. accents and ask them if they're U.S. military. Guy(s) will deny it. (Whether they're telling the truth or not, the answer will always be "No" after curfew.) Patrol doesn't believe them and asks for ID. Guy(s) refuse on the grounds they are not required to comply because they are not military and these guys asking questions in street clothes obviously aren't J-Cops. Patrol is stymied because you can't prove someone IS military unless you follow them around the rest of the night and to their place of work the next morning. No weapons will be used, no arrests will be made. The only thing the patrols will do is make it seem like the U.S. military is trying different things to make the curfew more effective.

  • 0

    sidesmile

    Would some sort of merit-based drink coupon sytem work? Just an idea. Keep the curfew and have a set amount of coupons issued to each service member which can be redeemed for ale at participating watering holes including if a service member wishes to have a beer with food. No ticket, no alcohol. Any takers?

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