The recent assault case on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa has received extensive media coverage in Japan, where an American soldier is accused of having raped a high-school girl in the early hours of the morning as she returned home from working in a restaurant.
Despite the grave nature of the incident and the effects it might have on the American military presence in Okinawa, Tamogami Toshio, the former Chief of Staff of Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force posted a controversial tweet regarding the incident on October 19, in which he questioned why a young girl was out alone at such a late hour.
Tamogami has long been a controversial figure in Japanese society, having been dismissed from his post in 2008 for suggesting that Japan had not been an aggressor during World War II. Unsurprisingly, his recent tweet has attracted floods of comments and criticisms since it was posted, and netizens have expressed a variety of opinions ranging from partially agreeing with Tamogami to complete outrage at his claims.
From Livedoor News
Floods of Criticism for Tamogami’s Twitter Statement, Situation Intensifies
Military commentator Tamogami Toshio has received online criticism for the content posted on Twitter on October 19, which has not only been retweeted more than 6000 times, but has even been summarised on togetter.com.
The content of Tamogami’s tweet was as follows:
“The media is evoking the danger of American soldiers every day in the assault incident involving an Okinawan woman but apparently it was 4am when this incident took place. It also seems that the assault on a high school student in 1995 was at 4am. What were this girl and the high-school student doing, wandering about town at four in the morning? But the media hasn’t reported this at all.”
However because the victim in the assault that occurred in 1995 was actually an elementary school student, and the time was 8am, Tamogami has received floods of comments from his followers, saying things like ‘You didn’t even check something that you’d soon have realised if you’d searched online, only human scum would carry out a second rape’,’The girl in this incident was returning home from working in a restaurant, but you want to turn her into a woman who’s out having fun until late hours?’,’It’s the end of the world when someone who used to be head of the self-defense forces would defend an American over his fellow compatriots’. The situation intensifies.
At time of writing on October 22, Tamogami had since posted four more entries on his Twitter account, but they were not statements relevant to this article.
Comments from Livedoor News:
I guess what Tamogami is trying to say is a moral point about the actions of a girl wandering around alone at 4am. I absolutely do not agree with his opinions, though; even if someone thinks ‘[The girl's] actions were not morally right,’ for instance, we must not conflate that with the crime of rape. That is definitely a whole other conversation. At the point when both become confused, Tamogami’s logic is bankrupt.
It’s obvious that the assailant is wrong; if rape is a serial crime then then can electronically tag the assailant and transmit warning information. However, since we don’t know who will become an assailant, you have to take the attitude that the only person who can protect you is yourself. Even if you say that the assailant is at fault once you’ve been harmed, the damage won’t be healed.
If you’re headed some place far, there are times when you go out at 4am. This guy is incapable of considering all the possibilities, so he can only think that at 4am someone is out for pleasure.
Coming home from work or working are an excuse for a woman to be out walking at 4am. If someone has taken measures to prevent it, then it can’t be helped, but you have to make an effort to stay out of harm’s way.
I heard that they found an item of women’s clothing and some possessions in the lodgings of the American soldier who is being taken as the criminal. I feel uncomfortable with this. Why 4am? Why did he go to the trouble of taking things that might become evidence? The whole thing is full of doubts.
So if it’s 4am, it can’t be helped even if you’re raped? Isn’t rape a crime? Can nothing be done if you get raped? This is such a pity, Tamogami.
So she said that she had no sense of danger walking around as a woman alone at 4am, this girl who’s the victim. The story was that though she was called over by this American soldier, she ignored him and ran away, right? And she wasn’t even walking around for fun, she was coming home from work. He went after this woman who had run away, attacked her and raped her. Despite this, it makes me want to ask whether it’s alright that people are saying stuff like ‘what’s with the girl?’
I also understand a little of what Tamogami is saying. 4am…had she been out having fun in the middle of the night and was staggering about drunk? Or was she going out early in the morning on some kind of errand? And what clothes were they? If they were revealing clothes, then, you know, you only reap what you sow. But then it’s up to the victim what time they go out and in what clothes. Well, if she was out wearing revealing clothes in the middle of the night, the high school girl is a bitch.
Say a woman was out walking alone late at night, it’s certain that it’s careless, but still, that is absolutely not a reason to make the crime of rape less serious, and if I dare bring it up, if you think about it a bit you can understand that it’s something that will get a backlash from the woman herself and the people of Okinawa. I understand that Tamogami wants to back up the Americans since he’s a pro-American conservative, but this kind of comment backfires.
You shouldn’t really say anything until you’ve investigated a little. I guess at the end of the day he’s not even a social commentator, he’s just a personality.
This rape is an incident that could have been avoided. Anyone can go out without being blamed, no matter what time it is. But, going out comes with risks. How that risk might be lowered is something for the person themselves to think about. Since when soldiers fight they must be prepared to die, they’ll do anything to get away without fighting. That’s not just soldiers; if you’re a parent you’d take care that your child wouldn’t be confronted with any dangers, right? Wouldn’t the first thing the victim’s parents said have been ‘what the hell were you doing out at 4am in that kind of place?’
At the end of the day, Tamogami is also an ‘army man’. It’s not surprising that he has no sense of human rights.
Where’s the proof that ‘Tamogami is defending the assailant’? And is there something wrong with the statement ‘there are problems for a woman who is staggering around drunk at 4am?’ Those of you who can’t help but say bad things about Tamogami and the American army can’t answer these two points.
Mr. Tamogami, I’m so disappointed in you. To think that you made a statement defending the assailant rather than the victim. Do you love America that much? Should the same thing have happened to your family, would you say ‘Don’t be out walking in the middle of the night. It’s your own fault you were raped’?
Yup, the rumour that China paid the two of them to do it is probably true.
Careless! Don’t pick the kind of job where you’re working until that hour! Consider how you might feel if you’d been told that after being raped. And on top of being raped, why must you even be denied your way of life?
The notion that the victim is at fault is simply defence of the assailant. It’s an affirmation of rape. No matter what state the woman was in, when it comes to rape only the assailant is at fault. Give the bastards who commit rape the death sentence.
Even though this kind of incident has happened several times in the past, I’m surprised that a girl would be wandering around alone in the depths of night. It’s no excuse that she was on her way home from work. Why don’t the women of Okinawa learn from the lessons of the past? There have been loads of rapes there. They should take all the more care. They should also be aware that American soldiers can’t be tried in Japan. It’s a mystery to me that they’d walk alone.
There’s no doubt that the American soldier is at fault, but it’s definitely dangerous to be walking around at that time. In some foreign countries you’d be murdered.
If you think that it’s the US state of Okinawa, that the atmosphere is bad, then you should do something about it w
What do you think? Was he blaming the rape victim?