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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 October 31 - November 6  > US airman commits violence while under curfew
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2012 October 31 - November 6 TOP3 [US FORCES]

US airman commits violence while under curfew

November 3, 2012
Some say that Okinawa seems to become a lawless island. A recent incident of trespassing and violence against a junior high school boy allegedly caused by U.S. personnel on curfew has fueled the anger of Okinawans.

The incident occurred two weeks after the U.S. military imposed a curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. on all U.S. servicemen in Okinawa following the rape of a Japanese woman by U.S. sailors in the prefecture last month.

On November 2 at around 1 a.m. in Okinawa’s Yomitan Village, a 24-year-old U.S. airman from the U.S. Kadena base, after drinking at a bar, broke into a third-floor apartment of the building where the bar is housed and punched a 13-year-old boy, according to the Okinawa Prefectural Police.

In addition to the two recent crimes, a U.S. marine in August molested a woman in Naha City. Okinawans experienced serious crimes committed by members of the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air Force within the past few months.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura Osamu on November 3 announced that the Japanese government will not demand the handover of the suspect to Japanese authorities because the U.S. Forces Japan is offering full cooperation with the investigation.

The Japanese Communist Party Okinawa Prefectural Committee on the same day urged the prefectural government to request the central and the U.S. governments to transfer the suspected airman to the relevant Japanese authority and to remove all U.S. military bases from the prefecture.

Yomitan Village Mayor Ishimine Denjitsu said, “I protest against the incident on behalf of Yomitan people. The U.S. side should extradite the airman to Japan for interrogation without delay.”

* * *

Following the assault incident by the U.S. airman, in a meeting of prefectural governors held on November 3 at the Prime Minister’s Office, Okinawa Governor Nakaima Hirokazu said, “Of course I support the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, but I have to say, if U.S. servicemen cause these kinds of crimes, it only undermines the bilateral alliance.”
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