US Forces Under Curfew After Rape & Murder In Okinawa

US military restricts troops in Okinawa after murder and rape of Japanese women

US forces stationed in Japan’s Okinawa island will be put under a month-long curfew following the rape and murder of Japanese women.

The US military in Japan said they will restrict all celebrations and off-base alcohol consumption for its servicemen in Okinawa after an employee was arrested on suspicion of murdering a woman and a former US marine pleaded guilty to raping a Japanese tourist.

Press TV reports:

Lawrence Nicholson, the head of US forces in Okinawa, said on Monday that a night-time curfew and some other liberty regulations will come into effect for a month.

“This period of unity and mourning will include the postponement of all festivals, celebrations and concerts on our bases and stations,” he added.

This came after US President Barack Obama expressed his regrets over the Okinawa crime and described it as “inexcusable.”

“The United States will continue to cooperate fully with the investigation and ensure that justice is done under the Japanese legal system,” Obama said at a joint press conference with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday.

Former US marine Kenneth Gadson was arrested on May 19 in connection with the death of a 20-year-old woman, Rina Shimabukuro, who went missing in late April.

Her body was found dumped in a wooded area near the US airbase, where the 32-year-old American was serving as a civilian contractor.

Police have found DNA matching the dead woman’s in a car belonging to Gadson.

Okinawa protests

Activists take part in a demonstration to protest against the US military presence in Okinawa in Washington, DC on May 26, 2016. ©AFP

According to his attorney, Gadson confessed to raping and killing of the women.

Abe and a number of other Japanese officials expressed outrage over the crime. US ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy was also summoned to get the government’s note of protest.

The incident came only two months after a US Navy sailor was arrested for raping a Japanese tourist who had fallen asleep in the hallway of a hotel in Okinawa.

More than half of the 47,000 US military personnel in Japan are stationed in Okinawa. Rapes and other crimes by US service members have sparked local protests in the past.

In 1995, the abduction and rape of a 12-year-old girl by three US servicemen triggered huge protests, prompting Washington to pledge efforts to strengthen troop discipline to prevent such crimes and reduce the US footprint on the island.