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Prime Minister raises eyebrow after latest Marine incidents

Date Posted: 2008-02-21

Yasuo Fukuda is asking what is changing about American GI behavior, and expressing unhappiness over another incident less than a week after the alleged rape of a young teen by a Marine.

The Prime Minister voiced his displeasure after learning of a trespassing incident during the weekend, an incident that took place only two days after all Marines underwent mandatory discipline and sensitivity training on U.S. bases in Okinawa. “I wonder what’s happened with them,” Fukuda asked. “The latest crime came right after the military implemented stricter discipline measures.”

The latest incident involved a Marine who broke into a residence near Camp Schwab and Nago City. The corporal was found drunk, asleep on the owner’s couch, claiming he didn’t know how he got there. Another holiday weekend incident saw another Marine corporal arrested in Okinawa City on drunk driving charges. Okinawa City was the starting point for the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl Sunday, February 10th, when a Marine staff sergeant picked the girl up on his motorcycle, took her to his home, then to a Chatan Town park where the teen claims she was raped.

Prime Minister Fukuda has vowed to lodge a formal protest with Condoleeza, Rice, the U.S. Secretary of State, during her visit to Japan later this month. “We have to make a strict claim,” he says, “so this sort of incident is totally eliminated.”

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