The U.S. Military has a tendency to leave its toys scattered about long after they are done playing with them. The presence of American military service members on the Island of Japan, nearly 70 years after the war, is a point of contention for many. This contention gets further stirred when those service men and women misbehave abroad. So when a U.S. Marine broke into a Japanese dealership, stole a new Honda Civic Type R, and crashed it, you can imagine how that might have stoked some old flames between the people of Japan and the American military.
2023 Civic Type R | Honda
U.S. Marine Steals Honda Civic Type R
Carscoops reports that the Marine not only allegedly stole a car, but the Honda Civic Type R in question was also recently bought by a Japanese civilian who took their car into the shop for maintenance.
The video surveillance shows the accused Marine walking around the car and sitting on a bench outside the car lot. The Marine, stationed at Iwakuni, eventually broke a glass door, entered the dealership, and left carrying the Honda Civic Type R keys. He then opens the Honda’s door, fires it up, and drives away.
While the video footage ends there, the local news station reports that he crashed into another car somewhere near the Iwakuni air base. Even though he fled the scene of the crash, local police investigations found the identity of the Marine. That said, thanks to the Japan-US Status of Forces Agreement, the police could not apprehend him immediately.
Can an American military person be arrested in another country?
Different countries have different laws and customs surrounding this topic. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MFAJ), “It is the duty of members of the United States armed forces, the civilian component, and their dependents to respect the law of Japan and to abstain from any activity inconsistent with the spirit of this Agreement, and, in particular, from any political activity in Japan.”
The agreement goes on to say, “the authorities of Japan shall have jurisdiction over the members of the United States armed forces, the civilian component, and their dependents with respect to offenses committed within the territory of Japan and punishable by the law of Japan.”
Considering the agreement is pretty clear, Stars and Stripes, a military news outlet, wrote that the Marine was being held under “suspicion of crashing a stolen car.” The publication also talked to base spokesman Maj. Gerard Farao, who said, “Our service members are expected to show respect to the community that we call home. We take all allegations seriously and hold all service members to a high standard of professionalism.”
How much is the Honda Civic Type R worth?
The source doesn’t say which model the Type R was exactly. Carscoops only says that the owner recently purchased it for ¥5.4 million ($39,503). Considering the MSRP for a 2022 model starts at $39,000, it is safe to assume that is the model that was stolen.