Status Of Forces Agreement Japan Pdf
In addition, some peculiarities of the agreement create domains with perceived privileges for American soldiers. For example, because SOFA exempts most U.S. military personnel from Japanese visa and passport legislation, incidents have occurred in the past, where U.S. military personnel have been sent back to the U.S. before being charged in Japanese courts. In addition, the agreement requires that when a U.S. service member is suspected of a crime but is not captured outside a base by Japanese authorities, U.S. authorities retain custody until acceptance of the service is formally charged by the Japanese.  Although the agreement also requires the United States to cooperate with Japanese authorities in investigations, Japanese authorities often claim that they still do not have regular access to interrogate or question the United States. Soldiers, making it more difficult for Japanese prosecutors to prepare cases for indictment.   This is compounded by the singularity of Japanese pre-indictment interrogations, which focus on confession as a precondition for indictment, often without a lawyer and can last up to 23 days.  Given the difference between this interrogation system and the system in the United States, the United States has argued that the extraterritoriality granted to its military members under the SOFA is necessary to grant them the same rights as those of the U.S. criminal justice system.
However, since the okinawa rape incident in 1995, the United States has agreed to consider surrendering suspects in serious cases, such as rape and murder, before being charged.  On January 16, 2017, Japan and the United States were “signed a supplementary agreement to limit and clarify the definition of the civilian component protected by the status-of-forces agreement.”   This agreement was reached after the rape and murder of an Okinawan woman in 2016, allegedly by a civilian contract worker employed at the U.S. Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa Prefecture. Some subcontractors obtain SOFA status from the Pentagon. If you qualify, you do not need a visa, regardless of the length of your stay. For more information, see the Pentagon Travel Office. If you are a member of the U.S. Armed Forces who are to be deployed to one of the bases in Japan (as defined by sofa), you do not need a visa to travel to Japan….