Japan Misses Deadline. Lee Calls for SOFA Renegotiation

March 1, 2023


WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) spoke on the Senate floor, calling for a renegotiation of the U.S.—Japan Status of Forces Agreement. On February 2, Sen. Lee demanded that Japanese Prime Minister Kishida transfer Navy Lt. Ridge Alkonis to United States custody no later than February 28 by 11:59 P.M. EST. Sen. Lee promised a public discussion about the U.S.—Japan Status of Forces Agreement should Japan fail to transfer Lt. Alkonis before the deadline. Japan failed to transfer Lt. Ridge Alkonis to U.S. custody in time.

On the U.S. Senate Floor, Sen. Lee said, “If the Japanese government can't respect our servicemembers and we can't trust them to uphold their commitments, then we are long overdue for a renegotiation of the Status of Forces agreement between our two nations. We must do so to protect our servicemembers, especially if they’re stationed in a country with a Justice system as draconian as Japan.