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Attempted theft of nobori lands airman in jail

Date Posted: 2002-10-26

Many storefronts in Okinawa are decorated with colorful advertising banners called “nobori” that seem to be too attractive for some U.S. servicemen to resist. Many local merchants, restaurant and shopkeepers in Okinawa City, Chatan Town and other areas surrounding the bases here say that they have to keep constant watch on their banners, and that they have to take them down daily as soon as night arrives if they want to have any left next morning.

The theft attempts are often inspired by alcohol. A case in point took place outside a restaurant in Chatan over last weekend. A group of three airmen from Kadena Air Base came to the restaurant. Two of them went inside and ordered some food for takeout. The third stayed outside. All were reportedly somewhat drunk.

While the two were inside, the staff noticed that the third man outside was busy trying to get a banner loose. One staff member immediately apprehended the 20-year-old airman while another called the police. The airman was arrested on suspicion of attempted theft. The cost of a normal size nobori is about ¥13,000 or $110.

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