Information Warfare: Fun With Numbers

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March 11,2008: In Okinawa, local political activists have been trying to portray U.S. troops on the island as a bunch of out-of-control rapists. Okinawa, while part of Japan, is inhabited by people who remember that Okinawa was forcibly incorporated into Japan in the 19th century, and would like to get all the foreigners out. This is especially true of the over 30,000 American troops and dependants, who occupy 18 percent of the islands. The "rape" campaign is a masterpiece of misinformation. The activists avoid discussing criminal acts as a percentage of personnel present, or compared with local crime rate. The rape rate in Japan is 1.48 per 100,000 people per year, so assuming some 100,000 US Personnel (including dependants) in Japan, the rape rate in most years is zero. The activists cite six cases over the past eight years, and manipulate to make the claim that US troops can rape at will. Overall, the crime rate of US personnel is something like 1 percent that of Okinawa's. In 2007 there were 63 criminal acts by American military in Japan, committed by 46 individuals. Rape is hardly ever prosecuted in Japan, and even less often are convictions secured – the country has a rape conviction rate only 5 percent that of the US. With all that, the case currently in the headlines (a the 14 year Okinawan and a 38 year old American), disappeared when the charges were dropped.

 


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