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October 19, 2012

US Imposes Curfew on All American Troops in Japan

by VOA News

The commander of U.S. forces in Japan has imposed an nationwide curfew for all military personnel in Japan after the arrest of two American sailors for the alleged rape of an Okinawan woman.

Lieutenant-General Salvatore Angelella said Friday that the immediate 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. curfew will apply to all American service members, whether permanent, temporary or transiting Japan.  The curfew does not apply to civilians or American contractors.  Angelella also said that U.S. military members in Japan will have to attend "core values training."

Police arrested two U.S. sailors on the southern island of Okinawa Thursday.  The are accused of raping a local woman in the parking lot of her apartment building during the early hours of Tuesday.

In a statement released Thursday, U.S. officials said they would soon unveil measures to "ensure responsible behavior" for troops, while showing their commitment to maintaining positive relationships with local communities that host U.S. forces.

The case has stirred anger in Japan, where more than 45,000 U.S. troops are stationed, about half of them on Okinawa.

Previous crimes committed by U.S. military members on Okinawa have sparked mass demonstrations and calls for a reduction in the number of troops stationed on the island.