Another American soldier arrested on charges of trespassing

Another American soldier arrested on charges of trespassing

At around 10:00am, on November 18, in the Makishi district of Naha, police investigated the scene where a U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant based in Okinawa trespassed into a room.

November 19, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

On November 18, the Naha Police arrested a 24 year-old U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant, who is based at Futenma Air Station, on suspicion of trespassing in a room of a building in Makishi, Naha. According to the police, the suspect denied the charges, claiming that a Japanese woman he met at a club told him to take a rest there. No particular damage resulting in injury has been reported. The police are investigating the suspect with regard to his motivation and behavior before the crime. The incident occurred in the early hours of the morning and alcohol was detected on his breath. The Marine Corps lieutenant seems to be guilty of drinking in a local off-base area during the middle of the night, thereby breaking the 11:00pm to 5:00am curfew placed on all U.S. troops in Japan.

U.S. Forces Japan imposed the curfew on all U.S. personnel in Japan after a sexual assault by two sailors occurred in the central part of the main island in October. However, on November 2, a heavily intoxicated airman from Kadena Air Base broke into a house and punched a junior high-school boy during the curfew. The effectiveness of curfew is now increasingly being questioned by people of Okinawa, and in the context of the deployment of the Osprey aircraft being forced upon Okinawa, the recent spate of incidents by U.S. troops is likely to inflame the Okinawan people’s opposition to the U.S. military.

According to the police, the Marine Corps lieutenant was arrested on suspicion of trespassing in the room on the top floor of four-storey building at 7:30am on November 18. While of the 30 year-old male restaurant employee was out he received a call from his acquaintance to the effect that “an unknown foreigner is asleep in your room.” He immediately called the police. Neither he nor his friend are acquainted with the suspect. According to the police, the suspect climbed up the outside stairs of the building, before entering the room through an unlocked front door and went to sleep in the bedroom. The suspect told the police that he drank alone at a few bars and restaurants in the city, in the evening of November 17.

A senior Foreign Ministry official revealed that on that same day, through the U.S. Embassy in Japan, the Japanese government asked the U.S. government to prevent any recurrence of incidents and to strictly enforce the law.

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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