US Marines are protected by SOFA
SOFA exempts most U.S. Marines from Japanese visa and passport laws and most past incidents that occurred in which U.S. military members are accused of a crime the Japanese Police lacked any interest. Also when any were in a position to face a Japanese court they are were transferred back to the U.S. before facing charges.
The agreement also requires that if any U.S. Marines are suspected of a crime but is not captured outside of a base by the Japanese authorities, the U.S. authorities are to retain custody until the person is formally indicted by the Japanese.
Although the agreement also requires U.S. cooperation with Japanese authorities with investigations, the Japanese authorities often find that they still do not have regular access to US Marines, to question or interrogate, making it difficult for Japanese prosecutors to prepare cases for indictment.
This is because The US is concerned by the unique nature of Japanese pre-indictment interrogations, which are focused on eliciting a confession as a prerequisite for indictment, and are often conducted without a lawyer, and can last as long as 23 days
This difference between this interrogation system and the system in the U.S., the U.S. has argued that the SOFA protection is necessary to make sure any USMC accused of a crime are able to have same rights that exist under the U.S. criminal justice system. The problem is that accused US Marines are returned to the US and discharged and never ever face trial. Sadly we never ever hear about what happens to their victims. Why doesn't anyone ever talk about it? This news shows why so many victims never ever tell their story. No one believes them. Those that do are persecuted, followed by secret police and harassed until they go back to being silent.
Catherine Jane Fisher, after being raped by one of these US Marines, discovered this amazing protection system but finally beat it by obtaining a US Court to uphold a guilty plea on her rapist imposed by a Japanese Court in absentia because the US discharged him and returned him to his home without any charge. This video provides an accurate picture of just what goes on behind closed doors.