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Japan protests another U.S. troop-related incident

By Eric Talmadge

Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 04:39 a.m. HST, Nov 02, 2012


TOKYO » A U.S. airman is suspected of assaulting a young boy today on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa, authorities said. The incident comes just two weeks after a curfew was imposed on all 52,000 U.S. troops in Japan after the arrest of two Navy sailors for allegedly raping a local woman.

Authorities on Okinawa said the 24-year-old airman was suspected of entering an apartment and punching the 13-year-old boy before breaking a TV set and trying to escape through a third-floor window. The airman — whose name has not been released — fell and was taken to a military hospital.

Japan's Foreign Ministry said the government had lodged a formal complaint with U.S. Ambassador John Roos.

"Let me be absolutely clear: I am very upset — it's an understatement to say I'm very upset — with the reported incident in Okinawa," Roos said after meeting Japanese officials. "It is incredibly unfortunate that the purported actions of a few reflect badly on thousands of young men and women here in Japan, away from their homes, that are here for the defense of Japan."

Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto called the incident "unforgivable."

Military-related crime is an emotional issue on Okinawa, and all U.S. troops in Japan were put under a curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. after the sailors were arrested for the alleged rape there on Oct. 16. Today's incident is believed to have occurred at about 1 a.m.

The airman reportedly had been drinking in a bar on the building's first floor. He was being treated at a military hospital for possible broken bones and internal injuries, according to a statement by Kadena Air Base, where he is stationed.

"It is extremely regrettable when an alleged incident like this occurs," said Col. Brian McDaniel, the vice commander of Kadena's 18th Wing. "We are fully cooperating with Okinawan authorities on this investigation to ensure justice is served."

Local opposition to the U.S. bases over noise, safety and crime flared into mass protests after the 1995 rape of a schoolgirl by three American servicemen. The outcry eventually led to an agreement to close a major Marine airfield, but the plan has stalled for more than a decade over where a replacement facility should be located.

More than half of all U.S. troops in Japan are stationed on Okinawa, and the recent incidents have further inflamed tensions and distrust.

About 1,300 people held a protest earlier this week over the alleged October rape and the deployment of the Marine Corps' MV-22 Osprey to a base there. Many Okinawans believe the aircraft isn't safe to operate over their crowded cities.







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808Cindy wrote:
Events like this shame our Nation. This makes us look more like tha Ugly American.
on November 2,2012 | 07:46AM
allie wrote:
true
on November 2,2012 | 10:48AM
HD36 wrote:
Japanese have more money because we pay for their national defense. If the US would let them build their military up, we could save that money and more of us would be traveling to Japan.
on November 2,2012 | 08:05AM
Ronin006 wrote:
HD36, you are incorrect about the US paying for Japan's national defense. Japan pays its own way. It may interest you to know that under the Status of Forces Agreement between the US and Japan, Japan also pays more the $2 billion annually to support US bases in Japan. We still have bases in Japan, 67 years after the end of WW II, because the US needs them to support US interests in Asia.
on November 2,2012 | 09:48AM
Larry01 wrote:
Ronin006 shares good facts. Additionally, Japan's constitution, which was basically written by folks like Douglas MacArthur, restricts Japan's military to defense of the country. Back when we just got out of a war with them, it mades sense, but in today's world, maybe not so much. In recent years, their government has taken a looser approach to the "self-defense" term, deploying further abroad and assisting in multi-national missions, but the fundamental tennet of their constitution remains a barrier to greater participation.
on November 2,2012 | 12:32PM
HD36 wrote:
"We cannot sustain a system that bleed billions of taxpayer dollars on programs that have outlived their usefulness, or exist soley because of the power of politicians, lobbyists, or interest groups. We simply cannot afford it." Downsizing the US military presence in Japan is overdue. It would lesen political tensions, save the U.S. Military millions of dollars a year, and shift a billion dollars in annual military spending and several thousand support jobs into the U.S. economy. Moreover, moving ships, aircraft, and military families out of the range of North Korean , Russian, and Chinese tactical missiles and aircraft would protect them from a suprise attack." --President Barak Obama
on November 2,2012 | 04:36PM
Mensore wrote:
The Government of Japan (GOJ) pays for most of the physical cost of the bases in Japan (building buildings, etc.), pays rent to the the landowners where the bases are, pays the labor cost of most of the local national employees, some transportation cost (road tolls on official business), and some support for morale programs, etc. The GOJ does not pay for the cost associated with U.S. service members, civilians, contractors, schools, military equipment, etc. The GOJ does have its own "military," called the "Self-Defense Force." As dictated by Article 9 of the U.S. written constitution, the Japanese cannot fund or operate a military. Largely a result of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, most Japanese to this day remain extremely pacifists. It took years to vote to allow discussion of changing the constitution in the Diet to occur.
on November 2,2012 | 02:51PM
HD36 wrote:
Most of those claimed contributions are artificial. For example, goods imported for sale at US military stores are not taxed by the Japanese government and therefore counted in the "contribution" Another major contribution is rent paid to Japanese landowners; Japanese employee salaries, utilities and base maintenance. Maintaining 50,000 troops in Japan requires millions of dollars each year to rotate GIs for three-year-tours, which includes shipping their children, pets and houshold goods. Since housing costs in Japan are twice as much, the US government also has to spend millions more in housing costs and "locality" pay. The US spends over 5.3 billion to maintain bases in Japan.
on November 2,2012 | 04:31PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Terrible. Too bad he survived the fall. However, I must point out the fact that someone is assaulted, robbed, rape or murdered every day on Okinawa, but you never hear about the crimes because they are local -on-local incidents. It becomes front page news when the perp is an American.
on November 2,2012 | 08:11AM
kennie1933 wrote:
That is very true, but I guess it's because we are already unwelcome there so anything an American does to one of their citizens is magnified. Conversely, you rarely hear of a Japanese citizen living in the US/Hawaii (for work or whatever reason) assaulting an American citizen. If that happened, I wonder how Americans would feel.
on November 2,2012 | 09:40AM
allie wrote:
bad analogy,hon
on November 2,2012 | 10:49AM
kennie1933 wrote:
Is it? Here's an analogy closer to home then. Say you live with your family and your neighbors hate you, so your dad hires a bodyguard. Now, your dad isn't exactly a saint and sometimes beats you and your siblings. One night, the bodyguard beats your sister. Would you be OK with that since he is there to protect you from your neighbors? In retaliation, your dad goes to the bodyguard's house and beats his daughter. Eye for an eye....is that OK with you? In some countries, they actually do that.
on November 2,2012 | 11:11AM
allie wrote:
kennie...ummmm....
on November 2,2012 | 03:42PM
cojef wrote:
Yes,you are right, but crimes of local nature is no news in the US is a no brainier. When our citizens commit a crime in a foreign country be it In Japan or other foreign area it is news in the locality where the American resides. The news services picks up incidents like this and circulate it for consumption by the local press, provided it is of interest in their community.
on November 2,2012 | 09:44AM
allie wrote:
Please make Japan pay for its own defense. Same with Germany and other Euro countries. We are broke. Stop keeping bases open that do nothing for our defense.
on November 2,2012 | 10:48AM
Larry01 wrote:
They do pay for their own defense. In fact, they pay A LOT. For a long time, even after the cold war, they were the third largest spender on the military, after the US and the USSR. This, in spite of the fact that deployment of their forces is constrained by their constitution.
on November 2,2012 | 12:38PM
allie wrote:
no hon. We have never been paid back for our decades of "protection" for these countries. Let them protect themselves. We are broke
on November 2,2012 | 03:43PM
turbolink wrote:
You are incredibly wrong Allie. As usual you shot off another unfounded comment. No country has been more of a loyal and generous ally than Japan. You would be amazed at what it contributes in direct payments, facilities, or services. Shame on you!
on November 2,2012 | 06:37PM
64hoo wrote:
the airman was probally a dont ask dont tell rule about gays in the military probally tried to sexually molest the kid. and didnt get very far.
on November 2,2012 | 11:22AM
HD36 wrote:
"We cannot sustain a system that bleed billions of taxpayer dollars on programs that have outlived their usefulness, or exist soley because of the power of politicians, lobbyists, or interest groups. We simply cannot afford it." Downsizing the US military presence in Japan is overdue. It would lesen political tensions, save the U.S. Military millions of dollars a year, and shift a billion dollars in annual military spending and several thousand support jobs into the U.S. economy. Moreover, moving ships, aircraft, and military families out of the range of North Korean , Russian, and Chinese tactical missiles and aircraft would protect them from a suprise attack." --President Barrak Obama
on November 2,2012 | 07:07PM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
FOLKS!!! TAKE OUT ALL REFERENCE TO JAPAN AND AMERICAN !! WOULD THIS STORY BE ANY LESS OFFENSIVE!?!?!?
on November 2,2012 | 03:07PM
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