Former Secretary of Defense Says US Military Responsible For Murder

William Perry, Professor Emeritus at Stanford University and Senior Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation gave interviews with several Japanese newspapers, including the Okinawa Times and Tokyo Shimbun. He responded to news that a Japanese woman had been murdered by a military contractor. 

In an interview with the Okinawa Times, Perry stated that even though the murderer was a military contractor (and thus not a soldier), the US military bares responsibility. He went on to say that the US military should take all appropriate measures to prevent these incidents, including making the military code of conduct stricter.  On May 27, US military officials in Okinawa issued a directive  to all military personnel, contractors and their families prohibiting them from drinking outside the base or leaving the base after midnight. The directive is in effect until June 24th.

In an interview with Tokyo Shimbun published on May 22, Perry stated that Secretary of Defense Carter should apologize and implement measures to prevent similar incidents. President Obama did not apologize for the incident, but instead expressed his condolences. In response to this, Perry noted that a US President’s apology entails a lot of political risk, so Obama may have wanted to wait to apologize personally. After the 1995 child rape incident, Perry flew immediately from Washington to Tokyo and apologized to the family of the victim. In 1995, there was a famous case involving the rape of a 12 year old girl by three US military personnel stationed in Okinawa. Professor Perry was US Secretary of Defense at that time.  The case fueled a protest movement against the US-owned Futenma air base in Okinawa, and eventually led to an agreement between the two countries to relocate the base.

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