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US service member crime stats highest in three years

Date Posted: 2002-01-24

A total of 70 criminal acts involving 72 U.S. service members or their dependents were reportedly committed during 2001 on Okinawa, announced Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador to Okinawa Hiroshi Hashimoto on Jan. 16. Prefectural police have determined that the statistics represent an increase for the third consecutive year in a row. According to police records, 44 incidents occurred in 1997, dropping to 38 in 1998. In 1999 the number of crimes rose to 48 and climbed to 53 in 2001. Ambassador Hashimoto expressed anxiety over the steady increase and said that measures taken by the U.S. military to stem the trend will be closely monitored. Eight meetings between representatives from the U.S. military, the government of Japan, Okinawa prefecture and local governments have been held, but an effective resolution to the problem has not yet been found.

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