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Cablegate: Hiroshima Mayor On Iwakuni Case: Qdoor Open To

VZCZCXRO4951
OO RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHOK #0268 3400450
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 060450Z DEC 07
FM AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0958
INFO RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO IMMEDIATE 8095
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO PRIORITY 0209
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA PRIORITY 2316
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA PRIORITY 0198
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA PRIORITY 0221
RHOVQHS/COMSEVENTHFLT PRIORITY
RUYNJDK/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA PRIORITY
RUYNJMF/NAVCRIMINVSERVFO FAREAST YOKOSUKA JA PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHHMHAH/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMUSJAPAN YOKOTA AB JA PRIORITY
RUENAAA/SECNAV WASHDC PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HQ USPACOM PRIORITY
RHHMUND/COMMARFORPAC CAMP H M SMITH HI PRIORITY

UNCLAS OSAKA KOBE 000268

SIPDIS

USFJ FOR J00, J01, J05, AND J06
OSD/J FOR JOHN GEIS AND SUZANNE BASALLA

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MARR PGOV ASEC JA
SUBJECT: HIROSHIMA MAYOR ON IWAKUNI CASE: QDOOR OPEN TO
USFJ PERSONNEL

1. (SBU) Summary: Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba
telephoned Consul General on December 5 to discuss the
October 14 incident involving Marine Corps Air Station
(MCAS) Iwakuni personnel and a woman in nearby
Hiroshima City, now that the criminal investigation has
been dropped by Japanese prosecutors. He added a half-
apology for his strongly-worded letter to the
Ambassador over the incident. Akiba also reiterated
his city's openness toward Americans, including
military personnel from Iwakuni. The mayor asked that
the USG keep him abreast of developments in the
military justice system's case against the defendents.
End Summary.

2. (SBU) CG Russel attempted to contact Mayor Akiba on
October 19 after news of the October 14 alleged sexual
assault involving four MCAS Iwakuni personnel and a 19-
year old woman in Naka-ku, Hiroshima surfaced in the
Japanese media. CG sought to convey to the mayor the
seriousness with which the USG was viewing this
incident, that the U.S. holds its military personnel to
the highest discliplinary standards, and that we would
cooperate with Japanese authorities to determine the
bona fides of the case. Akiba was out of the country
and upon his return to Japan, his staff cited illness
as a reason the mayor could not be reached.

3. (SBU) On October 22, Akiba sent Ambassador Schieffer
a strongly-worded letter demanding information about
the case, care for the alleged victim, and a review of
USFJ military discipline and the U.S.-Japan Status of
Forces Agreement (SOFA).

4. (SBU) On November 6, Hiroshima Police ended their
investigation of the four defendants and declined to
press charges, releasing them to the U.S. military
justice system. On December 5, Akiba telephoned CG to
acknowledge that there had been no backlash against the
U.S. military in Hiroshima over the case, and that
public concerns about safety in Naka-ku had been
allayed -- as close to an apology for his letter as we
can expect. He assured CG that Americans -- including
the Marines in Iwakuni -- were still welcome in his
city.

5. (SBU) Accepting his invitation for Americans to
continue to enjoy Hiroshima's hospitality, the CG also
emphasized that the USG and USFJ were committed to
maintaining the highest standards of discipline and
that the case was still under careful consideration by
the U.S. military authorities. Mayor Akiba asked to be
appraised of any significant developments in their case.

RUSSEL

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