U.S. forces dealt new protest over marine’s alleged trespass

The Japanese government has lodged a protest with the United States over an alleged trespassing incident committed by a service member in Okinawa, asking that military discipline be bolstered.

The Director General of the Ministry’s North American Affairs Bureau, Junichi Ihara, has told Kurt Tong, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, that the incident was deplorable and asked the U.S. to tighten discipline among its forces.  Tong said the U.S. government will continue to work to preventing similar incidents.

The incident triggering the Japanese protest took place on Thanksgiving Day, when Pfc. Gregory Carson, 20, assigned to U.S. Marine Corps Camp Courtney, was caught trying to climb a drainpipe on the side of a building near the base.  He told authorities as he was being arrested that he wanted “to practice doing back flips on the roof of the building”.  It followed a spate of alleged trespassing cases committed by U.S. service members in Okinawa.

It also came after Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba said the government would hold a working-level meeting in Naha with local governments in Okinawa and the U.S. military to discuss how to prevent misconduct involving military personnel.  Calling a series of alleged curfew violations by U.S. military personnel in Okinawa “very regrettable,” Genba told reporters that effective measures to address crimes by U.S. service members need to be taken “wherever possible.”

The U.S. military has imposed an 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew on all personnel in Japan following the alleged rape of a local woman by two U.S. sailors in Okinawa in October. It is also reviewing existing rules governing off-duty conduct of service members in the country.