A US Marine has been arrested on suspicion of raping a 14-year-old Japanese schoolgirl in Okinawa, where resentment is already running high against American military presence, Reuters reports. The 38-year-old Marine allegedly raped the teen in a car yesterday, officials said. "This kind of crime cannot be forgiven, especially when you remember that the victim is a middle school student," said Okinawa's governor. "I feel extremely angry."
The marine has admitted kissing the girl, but has denied the rape, according to local Japanese press reports. "If the allegations are true, our hearts are with the victim and family," said the commander of US forces in Japan. The nation is home to some 50,000 US troops, the bulk of them in Okinawa. The rape of a 12-year-old girl by three US servicemen on the island in 1995 sparked huge protests.