Sun, Apr 08, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Australian demands redress for rape by US marine in Japan

PROTECTED STATUS:Catherine Fisher, who said she was sexually assaulted, is also helping the family of a woman killed by a former marine seek compensation


A woman who has said she was raped by a US sailor in Japan is demanding that Tokyo do more to protect crime victims of US military personnel stationed there.

Catherine Fisher on Friday met for an hour with officials of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defense at the Japanese National Diet.

Fisher, an Australian and longtime Japanese resident, was raped in 2002 and awarded damages by a Japanese civil court. However, Japanese prosecutors refused to pursue criminal charges.

Fisher tracked the sailor she accused of assaulting her on her own because he had already left for the US. In 2012, she sued Bloke Deans in a Wisconsin circuit court to claim the damages awarded in Japan.

She won in 2013, but demanded only US$1 — to make a point, she said.

Deans denied that he assaulted Fisher, but acknowledged in the US settlement that “the evidence may prove otherwise,” according to documents provided by his attorney, Alex Flynn.

“Mr Deans has paid that dollar and the matter is now concluded,” Flynn said.

Fisher is now demanding compensation for the family of a Japanese woman in whose death a former marine was convicted last year, as well as for other victims. Such crimes by US military personnel have set off anger, although their immunity from Japanese prosecution has gradually decreased.

“You must and you can do something. Everybody else is doing something except for the Japanese government,” she said.

Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Director Takahiro Suzuki told Fisher that negotiations were under way with the US to win compensation for the family of the murdered Japanese woman.

A sticking point has been that at the time of the murder, Kenneth Shinzato was working as a US military contractor and was no longer a marine.

Fisher demanded that the Japanese government award compensation immediately and not wait for a US decision.

She has been a rare proponent and counsel for women in Japan, where rape victims tend to stay silent.

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