The tensions between Okinawans and the U.S. Military stationed there are about to get much worse after this latest incident of misbehavior. A 24 year old service man has been reported to have broken into a home in Yomitan around 1 AM Friday morning and attacking a boy who lived there. This took place despite the 11 PM to 5 AM curfew imposed on all U.S. troops in Japan after two sailor were arrested for raping a woman on the southern island on October 16th.
The young American was drinking at a bar on the first floor of an apartment building. He was allegedly drunk and became violent, then leaving the bar and going up to the third floor of the building, entering the apartment. The 13 year old boy was sleeping in his room when the serviceman punched him, followed by breaking a TV. The man left by jumping out of a window, injuring himself and requiring hospitalization. Okinawa police haven’t made any official comments on the incident, but it has been discovered that the soldier was stationed at the Kadena Air Force Base, and is now in a military hospital.
Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba has lodged a formal complaint with U.S. officials, referring to the incident as “outrageous.” It is expected that U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos will be summoned to the foreign ministry by Friday afternoon. Roos was one of the U.S. officials who expressed condolences and apologies to the people of Okinawa after two 23 year old sailors were arrested for raping a young woman in the early morning hours. With Okinawans already angry over the deployment of the U.S.’s controversial MV-22 Osprey aircrafts, the sexual assault incident resulted in outrage and protests for military forces to be relocated. Today’s incident will surely only add to this fire, and could do serious further damage to Japan-U.S. relations.[via Japan Probe]