US Sailor Admits Rape: Japan Police

Tensions already high over American aircraft deployment

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 17, 2012 8:27 AM CDT | Updated Oct 17, 2012 11:16 AM CDT

(Newser) – A US sailor has confessed to rape, Japanese police say, after he and a fellow sailor were arrested early yesterday on the southern island of Okinawa. Seaman Christopher Browning and Petty Officer 3rd Class Skyler Dozierwalker were arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting and robbing a 27-year-old local woman, who reported the alleged attack. The men had approached her outside a bar, according to local media, before following her to an empty street and slashing her neck. Dozierwalker has reportedly confessed, while Browning rejects the claim, ABC News reports.

The incident inflames tensions between Okinawa and Tokyo regarding the US, Reuters notes. Tokyo has allowed American Osprey hybrid aircraft—whose safety has been questioned—to be deployed on the island. The US ambassador to Japan promised his "full personal attention" would be on the allegations. "The entire United States government, including our military, will continue to work our hearts out to earn the trust of the Okinawan people and the people of Japan," he said. More than half of the 50,000 US troops in Japan are stationed at Okinawa. In 1995, three US Marines were arrested in the rape of a 12-year-old girl, prompting widespread protests.

An Osprey aircraft prepares to land at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan, Okinawa, southern Japan Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012.   (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
In this Dec. 17, 2009 file photo, a military transport plane moves to the runway at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan in the southern Japanese island of Okinawa.   (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)
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