January 19, 2020 it marks the signing of the SOFA between the USA and Japan. Let's amend 60 yr old Status Of Forces Agreement
Catherine Jane Fisher is a US military rape survivor, Award Winning Human Rights Defender, Author and Documentary Film Producer. She is known for her grassroots advocacy since 2002 and as the first woman to break the silence in Japan. She has been advocating for almost 20 years to amend this SOFA and realises this is difficult
HOW MANY PEOPLE MUST DIE OR BE RAPED BEFORE CATHERINE JANE FISHER CAN PERSUADE JAPAN TO AMEND THE STATUS OF FORCES AGREEMENT?
Under the SOFA, the Japanese Government has failed to protect innocent civilians in Japan and according to their own data, over 210,000 crimes and accidents were committed by the US Military from 1952 - 2017.
As the Spokesperson for Victims of violent crimes, Fisher explains that victims and the families of murder victims demand the Human Rights Violations cease and that they be treated with respect. They want the Japanese Government to embody the values of the World Society whereupon higher standards of virtue are given to its people, human rights violations committed in crimes by US military are no longer tolerated and they expect them to amend 60 yr old Status Of Forces Agreement to receive Justice that they rightly deserve.
“We want innocent people to be protected instead of being murdered - beaten to death in the streets, or where men, women and children are raped like a broken record. It makes many people wonder why the US Military is stationed in Japan as they are said to be here to protect against terrorism yet instead innocent people are terrorised.
Catherine Jane Fisher has prepared an impact statement and an important proposal for the Japanese Government in order to eradicate rape, murder and other violent crimes. She will meet with the Japanese Government again shortly to hold discussions with them.
Fisher believes that it is imperative to change 60 yr old Status Of Forces Agreement and even after almost two decades of peaceful discussions, hopes that in 2020, the year of the Olympics, the 60th year of its signing, that the Japanese Government will realise that they must be held accountable to worldwide standards of Human Rights and to do this they must amend 60 yr old Status Of Forces Agreement.
Fisher feels the day has come to see the officials taking their heads out of the sand and finally realising that the eyes of the world are upon them.
The decades upon decades of deaths and violence some of which the perpetrators escape justice because Japan has allowed America to handle Judicial matters and impunity is handed out to the perpetrators on a silver platter.
One example of this shame to Japan can be witnessed in the case of Fisher when the man who raped her, Bloke T Deans, fled Japan during trial. It is public knowledge that the Japanese Government did not even care that Fisher’s perpetrator ran away, putting other women and children into danger in other places of the world.
Fisher went on to win her rape trial in Japan in 2004. Deans, who raped Fisher was found guilty and even then the Japanese Government did nothing to assist her. She never gave up though.
It is interesting however to see that recently in Japan a man has been accused of criminal action. He is not a US military serviceman, but the former Nissan CEO, Mr Carlos Ghosn who also slipped through the fingers of Justice. In this case regarding Ghosn, money is involved and so it seems that money talks as the Japanese Government is taking action to find this CEO, who escaped before he even stood trial, nor had been charged.
Which brings us back to the rape of Fisher. Even when after searching for him by herself for over ten years, Fisher informed the Japanese Government that the rapist was in prison. (He was jailed for padlocking his own children in a room in their own urine and faces according to 60 Minutes who filmed her documentary, titled, “The Power Of One.”)
Fisher feels that this is a not a fair justice system in Japan when the Japanese Government forced Fisher, by herself for over ten years, to look for the man who raped her but in cases such as Ghosn they leave no stone unturned. Clearly. Japan needs to AMEND 60 yr old STATUS OF FORCES AGREEMENT
No woman, no man should have to fight this hard for Justice.
Bloke T. Deans had been found guilty by the Japanese Judiciary at the Tokyo District Court but the Japanese government could not even afford a postage stamp to help Fisher when she located the rapist in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.
Fisher again took Justice into her own hands and filed her case in the USA. with her legal team from Perkins Coie. Together with legal team from Perkins Coie, Fisher won her trial again in the US Courts.
In 2013, Fishers rape case verdict in her favour made history and was a landmark case for not only Japan, but for the world. Her astonishing $1 settlement in the Milwaukee court as Justice was more important than money.
The precedent that she set in her path for victims was also followed by Taylor Swift years later in 2017.
Fisher believes that time is up for the Japanese Government. The government must show the world how they listen to the voices of the victims, the voices of the people. It is time to change the SOFA to avoid further embarrassment to the Japanese Government for not protecting the citizens of Japan and in order to immediately eliminate the murders, rapes and other violent crimes, most of which have been committed on the island of Okinawa.
Fisher ended by saying that when she meets with the Japanese Government again, she hopes that they will finally listen when she tells them, “The time is now. Stop the murders. Stop the rapes. Stop the violence. Change the wording of Article 16 of the Status Of Forces Agreement from “respect the laws of Japan” to, “obey the laws of Japan.’’ And make any other changes to SOFA as required and to do it now. No more playing around with people’s lives.
Recently in July 2019, Fisher gave a spellbinding speech at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.