Japanese police arrested a U.S. Marine stationed in Okinawa on Sunday on suspicion of trespassing. Already upsetting local officials and the Japanese government, this is the second instance of a U.S. serviceman breaking the curfew enforced after two sailors were arrested for raping a young Okinawan woman last month. 24 year old Thomas Chanquet, of the Futenma Air Force base, is accused of sneaking into an unlocked apartment and falling asleep until found by a resident.
Masahiko Gishi, of the Okinawa police, says Chanquet was drunk when he entered the apartment and believe he had been drinking off base while breaking the curfew. The person who lived in the apartment was out at the time, but a neighbor saw the marine enter a bedroom and lie down, and then called the police. Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima has said the incident is ridiculous and he is too shocked to come up with an appropriate response. He added that he will be protesting with both the U.S. government and central Japanese government to make sure the local military enforces its curfew.
Two U.S. sailors, Christopher Browning and Skyler Dozierwalker, were arrested in mid-October for raping a woman in the early morning hours while she was walking home. This caused outrage among the people of Okinawa, already angered by the large presence of U.S. soldiers on the southern Japanese islands. As a result, the Military instituted a strict 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM curfew for all personnel in Japan. But only two weeks later, a soldier from the Kadena Air Force base angrily left a bar while drunk, broke into an apartment and attacked the teenage boy who lived there.
While the circumstances around Sunday’s arrest aren’t completely clear yet, it seems that maybe Chanquet knew he was in violation of the curfew and was just looking for a place to sleep it off. While not any more acceptable, this contrasts with the serviceman in the earlier assault who was never arrested. He managed to return to base after hitting the young boy, but has been formally questioned by police and even apologized to the boy’s parents and the town mayor in person. No matter the issue, it seems clear the military is not doing enough to enforce its curfew.[via The Republic]