Statement by Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoriko Kawaguchi concerning Alleged Rape resulting in Injury committed by a U.S. Marine Lance Corporal

June 16, 2003

  1. At 11:15 a.m. on June 16, the National Police Agency notified the Foreign Ministry that an arrest warrant was issued at 11:05 a.m. on June 16 for U.S. Marine Lance Corporal José W. Torres of U.S. Marine Corps Camp Hansen, on suspicion of a rape resulting in injury of a woman. It is extremely regrettable that an arrest warrant has been issued for a member of the US Marine Corps on the charge of the heinous crime of rape resulting in injury.

  2. Upon receiving this information, I immediately expressed our strong regret to U.S. Ambassador to Japan Howard Baker and asked for full cooperation with the investigation, enforcement of strict discipline and prevention of recurrence of such an incidence. Ambassador Baker stated that he takes the situation seriously and will fully cooperate with the investigation. Also, in accordance with my instructions, Director-General of the North American Affairs Bureau Shin Ebihara and Ambassador in charge of Okinawan Affairs Sadaaki Numata conveyed similar messages to Major General Robert M. Shea, Vice Commander of the United States Forces (Acting Commander of USFJ), and Lieutenant General Wallace C. Gregson (the Okinawa Area Coordinator), and they gave similar responses to that of Ambassador Baker.

  3. Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Yoshitaka Shindo has just been dispatched to Okinawa by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today, 16th, in response to the case.

  4. In response to the issuing of the arrest warrant, the Government of Japan will request from the U.S. the pre-indictment transfer of custody of the accused at a Japan-U.S. Joint Committee meeting, currently in the process of being arranged to be held on the 16th in accordance with the 1995 Japan-U.S. Joint Committee Agreement on Criminal Procedures.

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