Thursday, January 12, 2006

A Well-Intentioned Catch-22

The intentions of the promulgators of this new regulation are noble...but nobility here is running slam-bang into the hormones of tens of thousands of hyped-up 19 to 24 year-olds. Does anyone share my worries about the effect this new regulation will have on the number of 1) rapes committed by, and 2) accusations of rape made against, U. S. servicemen and DoD civilians in Japan?

Commands across Japan spread news of solicitation ban
Sailors, Marines briefed about new UCMJ prohibition
Stars and Stripes

Pacific edition, Thursday, January 12, 2006--Along with the security and liberty briefings U.S. sailors and Marines from Japan received before visiting the Philippines for bilateral training in late 2005, they learned about a new article under the Uniform Code of Military Justice that for the first time makes it a crime to solicit a prostitute.

An Oct. 14 presidential order made soliciting prostitution a specific crime under the UCMJ, although it had been punishable under other charges in the past, officials said.


The awareness is part of a larger Navy campaign to inform sailors and Marines about human trafficking. A Navy instruction in November mandated that all Navy and Marine Corps servicemembers and civilians take an online course by February about recognizing signs of human trafficking.

The training is part of a Defense Department effort to root out military involvement in human trafficking, which in recent years Pentagon officials have called a threat to national security.

The focus, according to DOD Deputy Inspector General Jerry Hansen, began in 2002 with a Pentagon study that found soldiers in South Korea were contributing to human trafficking by supporting prostitution there.


Under a directive by Brig. Gen. Joseph V. Medina, Marine Corps Bases Japan deputy commander, all Marines on Okinawa will receive training about the new UCMJ article and human trafficking prevention by the end of January, Albrecht said. Marines new to Japan are to receive the training within the first 90 days they are in the country.


James Duke, a Department of Defense civilian at Yokosuka Naval Base, said he heard about the new UCMJ law in similar human trafficking training.

“Maybe it will make sailors behave better, but it will definitely make civilians think twice,” he said.

Aaaiiiyyyaaah! A minefield!

Oh, how busy the military courts of Okinawa, Sasebo and Yokosuka will be...busy, busy, busy.

Now it is true that many prostitutes are the victims of human trafficking. However, equating prostitution with human trafficking is unsound.

The Department of Defense is furthermore not simply extending the application of U.S. values and laws to its employees working overseas. Prostitution is illegal everywhere in the U.S. but two (?) Nevada counties. However sex therapists, escorts and fortune tellers openly ply their trades in every state, city and hamlet.

Nota Bene - As a father with a 10 year-old daughter, I am fully cognizant of just how wrong prostitution is.

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