The American military has announced it will court-martial four Marines on charges of gang-raping a Japanese woman in Hiroshima last year. The first two Marines will face a general court-martial in late April or early May. Japanese prosecutors had concluded that there was not sufficient evidence to charge them in a civilian proceeding.
The announcement comes amid outrage in Japan over a separate alleged rape of a schoolgirl by a Marine on Okinawa last month. About 50,000 American troops are stationed in Japan, and recent allegations of rape and sexual assault have stoked public protest against the presence of the US military. Last month Condoleezza Rice traveled to Tokyo, where she expressed her "deep regret" for the alleged crimes.