US military imposes Japan-wide alcohol ban after crash

China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-21 08:07

TOKYO - A Japanese man was killed in a truck collision involving a US marine who was well over the legal alcohol limit for driving, police said of a case that was likely to stoke resentment over the US military presence on the southern island of Okinawa.

In response to Sunday's fatal accident, US forces in Japan banned, until further notice, all personnel in the country, both on and off base, from drinking of alcohol, the US Forces in Japan said.

In Okinawa, personnel are also restricted to base or to their residences.

"The Defense and Foreign Ministries have lodged a stern representation to the US forces in Japan and the US embassy in Japan, asking for the enforcement of discipline, prevention of recurrence and sincere response to the bereaved," Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Monday.

The accident occurred at an intersection in the city of Naha early on Sunday morning. The marine was driving a military truck, and the 61-year-old crash victim was in a light truck.

The Japanese man was later pronounced dead, while the US serviceman, who was arrested on a charge of the fatal accident and driving under the influence of alcohol, suffered scratches, a police official in Naha said.

The official said a breath test showed the marine was as much as three times over the legal limit for alcohol.

Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga, a staunch proponent of lessening the base hosting burdens of the people of Okinawa, said of the incident that he is at a loss for words.

"The same thing happens again and again. I am lost for words," Onaga was quoted as saying.

Xinhua - Reuters - AFP

(China Daily 11/21/2017 page12)

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