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Archive for Wednesday, February 20, 2008

US imposes restrictions on Okinawa personnel

February 20, 2008

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— The U.S. military imposed tight restrictions on all personnel in Okinawa today, limiting troops to bases, places or work or off-base housing, amid a furor over the arrest of Marine on suspicion of rape.

The restriction, which tightens a midnight curfew for enlisted on the southern Japanese island, started early today and was indefinite, the U.S. Forces Japan said in a statement.

The arrest last week of 38-year-old Staff Sgt. Tyrone Luther Hadnott in the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl in Okinawa has sparked outrage in Japan, which hosts some 50,000 U.S. troops under a security treaty.

Hadnott admitted to investigators that he forced the girl down and kissed her, but said he did not rape her, police said.

The tensions have been compounded in recent days by allegations of additional less serious crimes by American troops. Japanese leaders have deplored the behavior and accused the U.S. military of lax discipline.

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