U.S. Marine Stationed in Okinawa Pref. Arrested for DUI; Rising Tensions Over U.S. Military Personnel Misconduct

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Okinawa Prefectural Police

The Okinawa Prefectural Police Naha Station arrested a 24-year-old U.S. Marine stationed in Okinawa on Saturday on suspicion of violating traffic laws by driving under the influence of alcohol. The suspect denies the allegations.

According to the report, the man is suspected of driving a passenger car under the influence of alcohol on a city road in Naha around 5 a.m. on Saturday. The police stopped him for questioning because his license plate light was off, and a breathalyzer test showed his alcohol level was about twice the legal limit.

Since June 25, incidents of sexual violence by U.S. military personnel have repeatedly come to light in Okinawa Prefecture. The fact that details of these incidents were not reported to the prefecture by the central government or investigative agencies has also become an issue, leading to increased calls for stricter discipline. On Friday, the government announced plans to improve the information-sharing system with the prefecture and requested U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel to take measures to prevent recurrence.

According to the Okinawa Prefectural Police, provisional statistics from January to May show that 31 U.S. military personnel and civilian employees were arrested for criminal offenses in the prefecture.