Ashton Carter: US, Japan Agree in Principle on Updates to Civilian Base Workers’ Rights

Ashton Carter

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter expects the U.S. and Japan to conclude an agreement over the rights of some civilian base workers in Japan in the near future, Stars and Stripes reported Sunday.

Erik Slavin writes the deal will remove some civilian base workers in the country from under the Status of Forces Agreement‘s protection from prosecution for criminal cases.

“I am pleased that the United States and Japanese negotiators have successfully reached an agreement in principle that clarifies the scope of the civilian component of the U.S. armed forces in Japan,” Carter was quoted as saying.

SOFA defines the rights and responsibilities for both military and civilian base employees in Japan and currently authorizes the nation’s law enforcers to question crime suspects with the latter remaining under U.S. custody at the bases until they are charged, according to the report.

Slavin reports U.S. and Japanese authorities agreed to define the categories of civilians under SOFA as part of the procedural changes.

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