Japanese Fury Mounts Over US Marine Rape Case

'Unforgivable' crime threatens alliance
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2008 3:30 AM CST
Okinawa City Mayor Mitsuko Tomon, in a car, arrives at United States Marine Corps camp in Okinawa Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2008. Japan's Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda called for measures Tuesday to prevent a recurrence...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Tensions continued to mount in Japan today in the aftermath of the arrest of a US Marine accused of raping a 14-year-old schoolgirl in Okinawa. "It is unforgivable," Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda told a parliamentary panel. "It has happened over and over again in the past and I take it as a grave case." The nation's foreign minister warned that it's "unthinkable that this would have no impact. Enough is enough."

Okinawan officials lodged formal protests with the Marines today, and the Japanese government has decided to send a senior diplomat to the island. The Marine remains in Japanese custody. He has admitted to forcing the girl to kiss him and to fondling her, but denies raping her, according to a local press report. Officials said the girl called friends for help from her cell phone after the attack, and they called police.