Statement by U.S. Ambassador Howard H. Baker, Jr. on the Court Martial of Sergeant Charles Robert Jenkins

November 3, 2004

The court martial of U.S. Army Sergeant Charles Robert Jenkins ended today at Camp Zama. I commend the United States Army for the open and transparent manner in which they have dealt with Sergeant Jenkins from the time he surrendered until today. When Sergeant Jenkins came to Japan in July, I promised that the United States would give due consideration to the humanitarian aspects of this case and I believe we have done our best to live up to that promise. At the same time, I wish to emphasize that no aspect of this case was negotiated between the governments of Japan and the United States. The case was rightly handled within the U.S. military justice system, and the verdict was arrived at in keeping with the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

In addition, I applaud the considerable effort by the authorities at the headquarters of United States Forces Japan (USFJ) and U.S. Army Japan to explain court martial procedures under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), so that everyone could better understand the legal process, including the court martial that we witnessed today.

I would also like to take this occasion to express my thanks to the Government of Japan for their close cooperation in all aspects of Sergeant Jenkins' case. My personal wish now is that Mr. Jenkins and his family mark today as an important step toward a future that is more fulfilling and peaceful. I wish them well.