Okinawa Rape Case Reignites Anti-US Ire

Citing discipline lack, angry Japanese want less military presence
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2008 4:21 PM CST
Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima, right, receives a letter to a family of a victim from U.S. Ambassador Thomas Schieffer at prefectural government in Naha, Okinawa Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2008. Schieffer went...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The arrest this week of a US Marine on charges of raping a 14-year-old girl on the Japanese island of Okinawa has stirred long-simmering resentment of the nearly 50,000 American troops stationed there, Reuters reports. “Considering that such vicious, atrocious incidents have never ceased to occur, we must question the way the US military enforces discipline,” reads a statement from Okinawa's assembly.

Lawmakers also want an apology, compensation for the girl, and measures to prevent similar crimes. “We are making no excuses,” said the top US commander in Japan, promising to review and improve prevention measures. Okinawa residents have long resented the presence of US troops, particularly since the 1995 gang rape of a 12-year-old by three US servicemen.