All U.S. Military stationed in Japan now in overnight curfew

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Sam Angelella, U.S. Forces Japan, 5th Air Force has ordered an indefinite curfew from 11 p.m. yo 5 a.m. on all U.S. military personnel stationed or in transition in Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by TSgt. Marie Brown)

Reacting to the rape of a young Okinawa woman early this week, the U.S. Ambassador to Japan has ordered an overnight curfew for all U.S. military personnel in the country.

Ambassador John Roos issued the order to the U.S. Forces Japan Commander, USAF Lt. Gen. Sam Angelella, who then issued the General Order putting the 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew into immediate effect.  The order mandates that all U.S. military personnel in Japan, permanent party or here on temporary duty, be on base or in off-base quarters during the curfew period.  The approved lodging side of the order extends to those authorized to be staying in hotels or motels.

The General Order does not apply to SOFA civilians, contractors or dependents.  Lt. Gen. Angelella says curfew violations will be dealt with under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.  The general says there are more measures coming, including core-value retraining for both military personnel and civilian employees, as well as a review of the command’s liberty policies.  Lt. Gen. Angelella refused to speculate how long the curfew will remain in effect.

The crackdown came less than three days after two U.S. Navy sailors on a brief Okinawa temporary duty stint allegedly assaulted a woman believed to be in her early 20’s as she walked home about 3:40 a.m. near Kadena Air Base.  Japanese authorities are being very tight with releasing information.

The last time the command issued a lockdown and curfew was in 2008, in the aftermath of another rape incident.  At that time, a Marine was arrested and convicted in U.S. court of raping an Okinawa junior high school girl at his quarters in Kitanakagusuku after picking her up near Koza Music Town in Okinawa City.  Japanese prosecutors dropped  the case, but the U.S. military court martial went ahead.

The two alleged rapists, Seaman Christopher Browning of Athens, Texas, and Petty Officer 3rd Class Skyler Dozierwalker of Muskogee, Oklahoma, aree now in Japanese Police custody.  Both are 23 years of age, an stationed at Joint Naval Air Station in Fort Worth, Texas.  Dozierwalker reportedly has admitted to the allegations, but Browning is denying involvement.  Police investigators found personal property belonging to the woman in the sailors’ hotel room.  They say Dozierwalker may have tried to destroy evidence of the incident.

The alleged rape has so angered Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima that he has issued a call for a review of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement to prevent further crimes and other misconduct by U.S. servicemen.  He held a news conference to criticize the incident, telling reporters the SOFA agreement is “surely at the root of various problems that are beyond understanding.”  He complained that “the agreement gives a kind of extraterritoriality to U.S. servicemen in Okinawa,” noting that troops should have been taught to have enough common sense to abide by Japanese law.

Nakaima is preparing for a five-day visit to Washington starting Sunday, and he’s sure to press his case both for SOFA changes and for reevaluation of the decision to station the MV-22 Osprey squadrons at Futenma Marine Corps Air Station on Okinawa.  Twelve Osprey are already here, and another dozen will be arriving soon.

The Osprey deployment is a longstanding item angering Okinawans, and that’s added to the furor over the alleged rape.  Local assemblies say they’ll issue resolutions condemning the rape.  Kadena Town has already done so and others are expected to follow suit on Monday.

The entire incident has triggered apologies from the entire U.S. government.  At the Defense Department, a Pentagon spokesman announced it will “soon announce a package of measures to ensure responsible behavior” of troops in the country,” while at the same time saying “we take all incidents and allegations involving misconduct by service members seriously.”  George Little, the acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs also said “we deeply regret any grief and trauma the victim may have endured.”  Ambassador Roos apologized to Japanese officials, promising full cooperation in the investigation, saying “we will put forward every effort to make sure that incidents like this do not happen.”

Lt. Gen. Angelella spoke softly but firmly as he said “I want to personally apologize for the grief and trauma the victim has endured and the anger it has caused among the people of Okinawa.”  He spoke more strongly as he declared that American military personnel “are held to a higher standard.”

Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto says Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has instructed ministers to fully consult with the United States over an alleged rape by U.S. sailors in Okinawa to ensure a similar incident does not happen again.  Behind Noda’s instruction is concern that the outrage sparked in Okinawa, following the arrest of two U.S. sailors for the alleged rape, could affect the U.S. military’s operation of MV-22 Osprey aircraft deployed at the Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station in the densely populated city of Ginowan.  Anti-U.S. sentiment has intensified since the incident in the southern prefecture, where the tilt-rotor aircraft has been deployed despite fierce local opposition due to safety concerns.

Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto, who briefed reporters on the meeting with Noda, quoted the prime minister as saying the alleged rape was “an incident that must not happen.”  Senior Vice Foreign Minister Shuji Kira and Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura also attended the meeting at the prime minister’s office. Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba is currently on a trip to Europe through today.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ken-Harper/1485921764 Ken Harper

    Okinawan government should pass a law to allow them to carry firearms legally. Maybe this will cut down the crime rate down.

    • Paul Roddick

      ermmm, i think not. Give people guns the crime rate goes up. Look at the USA.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ken-Harper/1485921764 Ken Harper

        The criminals already have guns in the USA.

        • Okinawa Resident

          Criminals will be criminals by any means necessary. Any weapons, legal or not, are used everywhere.

        • http://www.facebook.com/wu.moreland Wu Moreland

          Ken, why don’t you run for office in Okinawa. You should win because you always have the answers!

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ken-Harper/1485921764 Ken Harper

            Wu, I will be running for mayor in my hometown this year.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3E5Y3BSA4IYQ7YHWHNPA7LRU4U dr_bugsy

        Which USA are you talking about?

    • http://www.facebook.com/ricosuave92145 Rico Suave

      Capital punishment to rapist it’s best fit

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=827361161 Terrance Lenard Askew

      Your implying the “okinawan goverment” has any real control over what laws can be passed in their prefecture…Citizens carrying guns in japan. Lol dont make me laugh….I remember when the JP gate gaurds first got handguns…Lol didnt even know how to use them….Could only imagine the hilarity that would ensue giving ignorant ass japs handguns publicy…Also average american comment….if their is problem, guns and explosions will solve it!

      • MightyMightyCrown

        You see how stupid you are. Do you think top brass doesn’t read your comments. Its gonna be hard to find Terrance Lenard Askew and receive a conduct unbecoming and get some extra fun office hours. If you were smart you’d take down all your posts since your name is on it,but your not.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=827361161 Terrance Lenard Askew

          Im smart enough to know, that “high command” dosent give a rats ass…Im not scared to post my name nor my opinions. MightyMightyCrown, i dont know what shit list wannabe ex-marine you think you are, but you have alot to learn about life. Not everyone is in americas shit for brix military..

          • MightyMightyCrown

            I guess you’ll find out.

      • japanupdate

        Bigoted, racist comments like yours will not be tolerated. This is your one and only warning.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ken-Harper/1485921764 Ken Harper

          Glad to see that Japanupdate does monitor the comments here.

      • http://www.facebook.com/wu.moreland Wu Moreland

        Why don’t you back to grade school and learn how to use proper English. Your intelligence level shows. You can not express yourself without using profanity. Great example to set, well done. Show Japan what Americans are about, great job you.

  • Terra Annis

    Most everyone here on island is so tired of being yanked about by either those who are on stupid pills or, respectfully, by the proper authorities who seem to be in a constant ‘knee-jerk’ mode. At the same time, it would also seem that we are all ready to lynch the next would-be offender that threatens our liberties here. But really… Do we really know the true facts pertaining to the situation at hand; only that which is released in the news surrounding us. Furthermore, I have seen, first hand, the Japanese authorities jump to conclusions, assume and even coerce under suspicious circumstances in order to get the outcome they desire. Its all about the money, in my opinion, and how much that they can milk our government for. Having said this, I respectfully add – how then can we rightly assess it for what it ‘really’ is and what should be done about it? (This goes for all news conveyed around the globe.)

    • MightyMightyCrown

      Its all about the money, in my opinion? Your a prime example of the type of people Okinawa doesn’t need. You don’t like it soo much leave then. Its soo about money huh? Then why is it the Okinawan government was offered to up their annual money they get for hosting arrogant people like you $386 million and a one time large sump payment of 2.2 billion to do as they please if they agree to hosting the relocation of Camp Futenma and rejected it? Its soo about money that the Japanese government pays for the rent on the land that is forcibly rented to U.S installations from private citizens, The up keep on the bases, construction of all buildings,the electricity,water,gas, the rent for off base housing and cola that is paid to every servicemember. The real knee jerking should have been a boot in people like you who don’t get the thought in your mind your in a foreign country if you don’t like to mind your manners and show some respect you can leave. Your not in America. The top brass is tired of having to lose face cause what is presumed to be professional soldiers doing the most stupid stuff ever.

      • Okinawa Resident

        I second that!

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=827361161 Terrance Lenard Askew

          Okinawa resident. What the eff mang. if you really are okinawan then you must realize that your cock-shit complaining will never do anything about if the military does or dosent leave. We are stuck there…Rapist and all, protecting your country and ours…wait im not going to lie…We will never leave okinawa because of two reasons…Your shitty ass goverment doesnt give a rats ass about okinawa and your shitty ass country as a whole cant defend its damned self even it wanted too…

          • MightyMightyCrown

            Ha been in the Department of Defense longer than your alive first of all. It goes to show you how little you know. Japan doesn’t have control over how Okinawa governs itself. So guess what. If the Okinawan people have a problem with the military and the military wants to expand Schwab guess who has the leverage. You think times are tough now with this curfew? Don’t worry your about to get a liberty card Corporal pee on. Its gonna be worse than you think. I find it funny you are pissed at the victims and not pissed at the fact your fellow military members screwed it up for you. Its even funnier to know America will do whatever it has to, to keep bases in Japan. Your too stupid to know that it gives us advantage in confronting our adversaries on their soil and not ours. But don’t worry though I see your future like soo many before you. Burgerking cause your not gonna amount to dam at your rate hahahaha.

          • Okinawa Resident

            You are a moron. You are exactly the type of person that should never be allowed to go to another country or disgrace the U.S. by serving in it armed forces.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=827361161 Terrance Lenard Askew

        I read your little stint, but you seem to imply that people can just “up and leave” if they dont like it on oki. Sadly, if military that really isnt the case. Secondly, the ones who tend to hate or not want to be on oki are usually not the problem starters. It tends to be ones who have too much fun who “cause” all the problems….SMDH but its whateves…Out of the past 4-6 lockdowns nothing hasnt changed. Never will. Ungrateful and slighty ignorant ass okinawans will complain about anything, legit or not. And our, “as you state” knee jerk reacting military will the same damn thing that never worked in the past, only to cover their asses….

        • MightyMightyCrown

          have fun on the weekend oh you can’t get into any clubs that are good anyways. Better put on your jammies the fun starts at 11:00p.m.. Your the one who is too ignorant. If you were smart you would have made some good relations with some locals and they would have taken you out and showed you a good time as if you were one of them. Places where everybody else you know can go or know about. But nope no way is that gonna happen. They can read you easily your an outsider. Once you leave Okinawa your gonna think back man I had it made,but now that I can’t cut it in the military I am stuck in the states with regrets.

          • Terra Annis

            @MightyMightyCrown:disqus – You are an idiot (and that’s not just name calling either)! Its obvious that you have been sucking up the local news media and propaganda garbage that has slid down the pipes of the communistic underworld of Japan. For this reason, I’m not even going to waste anymore of my time reading your spew. You see, you have to realize someday that people are people – no matter where you are at or what country you live in. There will always be those few who cannot or will not abide or contribute to society in a positive manner; whether at home or abroad. Yes, this also includes the local people of Japan and Okinawa. Until you come to this conclusion yourself then you will always a miserable, arrogant cynic who hates on everyone that doesn’t agree with you. Toodles!

          • MightyMightyCrown

            Hahaha what you think you local guess again. See you around.

          • MightyMightyCrown

            123

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=827361161 Terrance Lenard Askew

            Wow so many assumptions. Do you go around thinking everyone you talk too is a “Hurr Durr” marine?? Do you really think that im stuck on a military installation during the wee hours of the moring because some tard navy folks cant keep their jimmies in their pants? Wow…..Just wow….

  • MJ

    Liberty restrictions to those who are TAD from other locations, these jerks just come in here and ruin our good standings with Okinawans need to be on lock down from the moment they arrive.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ken-Harper/1485921764 Ken Harper

      This won’t happen anytime soon.

      • Okinawa Resident

        They’ve done it before with Marine UDP units.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3E5Y3BSA4IYQ7YHWHNPA7LRU4U dr_bugsy

    Great, they punish all for the actions of a very few. Again.

    I lived through this back in the 1990’s and it was demoralizing then.

    Here’s an idea: Punish to the full extent those that break the rules, not those that follow the rules.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=827361161 Terrance Lenard Askew

      This makes some sense….Sadly….will never happen…Sensibility and military..do not go hand in hand…

  • http://www.facebook.com/ricosuave92145 Rico Suave

    Lock the Wolfs down! Releasing Wolfs amount sheep has never been a good idea and always will end up with the same results!
    This is a never ending cycle of the same kind of incidents! TDY or
    permanent, still are the same bad quality of ambassadors that the Armed
    forces have to offer around the world.

    • Bill

      Rico, as with any culture there are wolves amongst the sheep. The vast majority of the servicemen and women are not wolves, nor sheep; they are more aligned with the sheepdog. Standing and waiting to protect the sheep when the wolf growls at the door.

      If this is a new analogy for you take a look at this link and hopefully it will explain it out better for you.

      http://mwkworks.com/onsheepwolvesandsheepdogs.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/BlacklHayabusa Michael Thisdogisgivingmeahead

    BRING BACK CORE VALUES TRAINING TO THE FLEET! When I was in the Marines, we had Corps Values training in the fleet…it instilled why we needed to act with honor…nowadays, it’s always about politics, restrictions, and not really instilling ANYTHING in the minds of the servicemembers…until we look at the REAL mindsets and issues that drive these incidents and take some real actions, the problems will NEVER get solved. Oh…bring back CCU…that scared me into keeping me out of trouble.

    • JB

      CCU works, it prevents incidents. A great tool that has been taken away. Give the leaders the tools to work with besides the pen.

  • JohnS

    As long as the U.S. continues to flood this poor island with its violent and otherwise unemployable teenagers, the long list of crimes perpetrated by them against the Okinawan people will continue to grow.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ken-Harper/1485921764 Ken Harper

      U S marines that don’t get in trouble while in Okinawa doing their tour without any incidents could earn passes to stay on the island, rather than go to a combat zone. This would work for me.