The agreement is particularly twisted compared to the SOFS of the United States, together with its NATO partners, Germany and Italy. The U.S.-Japan Agreement on the Status of the Armed Forces () is an agreement between Japan and the United States of America, signed in Washington on January 19, 1960, the same day as the revised security treaty between the United States and Japan. It is an agreement on the status of the armed forces (SOFA), as defined in Article VI of this treaty, in which „the use of a […] Facilities and territories [granted to the U.S.] as well as the status of U.S. forces in Japan.“ It replaced the former U.S.-Japan Administrative Agreement, which regulates such issues under the original 1951 Security Treaty. Some contractors are granted SOFA status by the Pentagon. If you qualify, you do not need a visa, regardless of the length of your stay. For more information, visit the Pentagon Travel Office. The civilian component of the U.S. armed forces and the dependents of U.S.

military members/civilians In addition, certain features of the agreement create areas of perceived privilege for U.S. soldiers. For example, because SOFA excludes most U.S. military personnel from Japanese visa and passport laws, incidents have occurred in the past where U.S. military personnel were returned to the United States before being charged in Japanese courts. In addition, the agreement requires that U.S. authorities, when a U.S. service provider is suspected of a crime but are not captured by Japanese authorities off a base, must remain in custody until the service member is formally charged by the Japanese.

[2] Although the agreement also requires U.S. cooperation with Japanese authorities in investigations,[3] Japanese authorities have often denounced the fact that they still do not have regular access to questions or interrogations of U.S. service providers, making it more difficult for Japanese prosecutors to prepare cases for indictment. [4] This situation is compounded by the singularity of the Japanese pre-charge hearings, which focus on access to confessions as a precondition for prosecution, often without a lawyer[6] and can last up to 23 days. [7] Given the difference between this interrogation system and the U.S. system, the United States has argued that the extraterritoriality granted to its military under SOFA is necessary to grant them the same rights as those that exist under the U.S. criminal justice system. However, since the Okinawan rape case in 1995, the United States has agreed to consider putting suspects back in serious cases such as rape and murder before charge. [8] On January 16, 2017, Japan and the United States signed „an additional agreement to limit and clarify the definition of the civilian component protected by the Status of the Armed Forces Agreement.“ [9] [10] This agreement came after the rape and murder of an Okinawa woman in 2016, allegedly by a civilian contractor employed at the U.S.

air base in Kadena, Okinawa Prefecture. Given Japan`s security environment, the importance of Japan and the United States is important. The Alliance is unlikely to change in the future. But increased mistrust of SOFA risks undermining the relationship of trust on which the Alliance is based. The Japanese government should discuss amendments to the agreement with the United States. While requests for revision have increased in Japan, the Japanese and American authorities have circumvented the problem by improving the functioning of SOFA or by concluding complementary agreements. They explained that this allowed them to respond to the problem more quickly than by redesigning SOFA, but the reality is probably that they have avoided discussing revisions.