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Security cameras considered for areas near U.S. bases

Date Posted: 2008-02-21

Senior government officials are reviewing options on how, and where, security surveillance cameras could be placed around Okinawa military bases, particularly in those entertainment areas where American service personnel gather.

The idea was posed by Itsunori Onodera, a Senior Vice Foreign Minister who visited the island following last week’s alleged rape of a junior high school girl. Attention was pointed at Yokosuka, a Kanagawa Prefecture City that’s home to many U.S. Navy ships and sailors. There, police and residents banded together to establish eight security cameras in various neighborhoods nearly one year ago.

The government’s Chief Cabinet Secretary has ordered agencies and ministries to investigate the possibilities. Yokusuka officials, upset after an American soldier robbed and murdered a person in their city in January 2006, obtained ¥40 million in government subsidies to place the surveillance cameras.

The American military, Machimura says, “has implemented an education program,” but noted “it’s not effective enough, so the Japanese government must consider what it can do.

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