Filipino, Japanese activists protest alleged rapes by US servicemen
PHILIPPINES: Filipino and Japanese activists marked International
Women's Day a day early by marching to the U.S. Embassy in Manila to
demand the prosecution of American servicemen accused of raping a
Japanese girl and a Filipino woman in Okinawa.
About 100 members of the Unity of Women group and four Japanese
activists protested the U.S. military presence in their countries
Friday, saying American troops pose a threat to women and children.
"Abuse of women and children abounds where U.S. military personnel
are stationed - this is true in Japan and Korea as well as Mindanao,"
said group spokeswoman Virginia Suarez Pinlac, referring to the southern
Philippine region where U.S. counterterrorism troops arm and train
Filipino soldiers battling al-Qaida-linked militants.
Japanese activist Susumu Omori, a member of the Santama Peace Cycle
group, said it was angered by the alleged rapes in Okinawa. "The
criminals should be punished by Philippine law and Japanese law," he
The U.S. courts-martial protect their own soldiers, evading the
judgments of the Philippine or Japanese courts, he added. Last month,
American and Japanese officials said a U.S. serviceman was under
investigation for the alleged sexual assault of a Filipino woman on the
southern island of Okinawa.
Manila, Friday, AP