STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

US navy in Japan under alcohol ban after drink-driving case

The United States has come under renewed pressure to rein in bad behaviour after a base employee was arrested.

Published: 06th June 2016 01:01 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th June 2016 01:01 PM   |  A+A-

By AFP

TOKYO: The US navy said Monday it imposed an alcohol ban on its personnel in Japan as the Tokyo government condemned a military drink-driving case which fuelled growing opposition to US bases on Okinawa.

The United States has come under renewed pressure to rein in bad behaviour after a base employee was arrested last month for allegedly abandoning the body of a 20-year-old Okinawan woman whom police suspect was raped and murdered.

Crimes by US personnel have long sparked protests on the crowded strategic island and have been an irritant in relations between the allies.

US President Barack Obama last month vowed measures to prevent crime by Americans and the military imposed restrictions including a curfew.

But a naval officer was arrested at the weekend after allegedly driving the wrong way down a street while intoxicated and injuring two people, one seriously, according to Okinawan police.

US sailors stationed throughout the country are banned from drinking, both on and off base, for an undetermined period and will also be subject to other restrictions, US Naval Forces Japan said in a statement

"For decades, we have enjoyed a strong relationship with the people of Japan," Matthew Carter, the naval commander in Japan, said in the release.

"It is imperative that each sailor understand how our actions affect that relationship, and the US-Japan alliance as a whole."

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday told government officials and ruling party lawmakers the drink-driving case "is extremely deplorable... as it happened right after (the US) said they would make efforts to strengthen discipline", Jiji Press reported.

Top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga called the incident "egregious".

It came as Okinawans voted Sunday in elections for the local legislature, showing overwhelming support for incumbent governor Takeshi Onaga who wants a key US base in a crowded city removed from the island.

But Suga shrugged off the vote's impact on a Japan-US agreement to relocate the installation to another part of Okinawa, reiterating the government's position that it is the "only solution".

Okinawans are planning a major rally later this month in protest at the bases as well as the behaviour of US personnel.

More than half the 47,000 American troops in Japan under a decades-long security alliance are stationed on Okinawa, the site of a major World War II battle that was followed by a 27-year US occupation of the island.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp