Okinawa sex shop made off-limits

By DAVID ALLEN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 22, 2008

OKINAWA CITY — A sex shop in one of this city’s “red light districts” has been declared off-limits for all personnel attached to the III Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Corps Bases Japan.

The shop is called by the names “Shampoo” and “Diana” and was in the news recently during the trial of a 22-year-old Air Force dependent who admitted he beat and raped a 22-year-old Japanese woman there Oct. 1.

“Shampoo, located at 1-20-15 Misato, Okinawa City, Okinawa, Japan, is off-limits to all Status of Forces Agreement personnel attached to or accompanying III Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Corps Bases Japan personnel,” the order by Lt. Gen. Richard Zilmer states. “This includes all military members, civilian personnel (National Security Personnel System and contractor), and all dependents.”

Kevin Parks, the defendant in the rape case, pleaded guilty to rape involving an injury and faces a sentence of five years to life at hard labor in a Japanese prison. His defense is to present evidence during a hearing Monday in mitigation for sentencing, contending that Parks was mentally impaired.

During previous hearings Parks said he heard the devil’s voice in his head telling him to rape and kill the woman, but then heard the voice of God intervene to spare her life. He admitted that he hit the woman in the face with a beer bottle, punched her several times and then raped her.

The Marine order does not mention the Parks case by name.

“Marine Corps Bases Japan received credible information that ‘Shampoo’ promulgates illicit sexual activity,” Zilmer’s order states. “Such activities constitute a threat to the health, safety, and welfare of SOFA personnel.”

The shop is in a run-down section of Okinawa City that is home to dozens of small bars, called “Snacks.” At noon Thursday several cabs maneuvered through the narrow streets delivering customers to the few open shops, where women in tight clothes and heavy makeup posed in windows and doorways.

Many of the shops had English-language signs in the windows that read “Sorry, Japanese Only.”

Zilmer stressed that the order was “punitive in nature,” meaning military members violating the order could receive punishment under the Uniform Code of military Justice and civilians could face being barred from the bases or be forced to return to the U.S. It remains in effect indefinitely.

An Okinawa City sex shop now bears a "Japanese Only" sign after being placed off-limits to SOFA personnel Tuesday.

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