News / Asia

2 US Sailors Arrested for Alleged Rape in Japan

U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos (C) delivers a statement after a meeting with Japan's Senior Vice Foreign Minister Shuji Kira (not in picture) at the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo, in this photo by Kyodo October 17, 2012. U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos (C) delivers a statement after a meeting with Japan's Senior Vice Foreign Minister Shuji Kira (not in picture) at the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo, in this photo by Kyodo October 17, 2012.
x
U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos (C) delivers a statement after a meeting with Japan's Senior Vice Foreign Minister Shuji Kira (not in picture) at the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo, in this photo by Kyodo October 17, 2012.
U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos (C) delivers a statement after a meeting with Japan's Senior Vice Foreign Minister Shuji Kira (not in picture) at the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo, in this photo by Kyodo October 17, 2012.
— The latest alleged crime committed by American servicemen in Japan threatens to ignite escalated protests on the southern island of Okinawa against the U.S. military presence there.

There has been an immediate diplomatic outburst following the detention of two U.S. Navy sailors on Okinawa. A Japanese woman in her 20's says she was sexually assaulted by the men as she walked home early Tuesday.

The sailors, both 23 years of age, have been identified as Seaman Christopher Browning and Petty Officer 3rd Class Skyler Dozierwalker from the Fort Worth Naval Air Base in Texas.

Authorities say they arrived in Japan on Sunday and had been scheduled to leave on the same day the reported attack took place. Local police quote Dozierwalker as admitting to the accusation while his fellow sailor denies involvement in the assault.

During a meeting Wednesday in Tokyo with Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto, the governor of Okinawa, Hirokazu Nakaima, called the alleged rape an unforgivable act.

Nakaima says he is angry and that American forces need to sternly respond rather than merely promising to enforce stricter discipline. He laments this latest incident comes just two months after a U.S. Marine on Okinawa was arrested for allegedly molesting a woman.

The Pentagon and the U.S. Embassy have promised full cooperation with Japanese authorities into the latest rape case.

The Okinawa governor has been increasing his criticism of the U.S. military presence in the island chain, which hosts about half of the 47,000 military personnel in Japan.

Earlier this month, over the objections of the governor and many Okinawans, the United States and Japan agreed to the controversial deployment of a dozen tilt-wing rotor aircraft at a Marine Corps base located in a dense urban area.

Prior to apologizing personally to the Okinawa governor, the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, John Roos, told reporters he does “understand the anger that many people feel.”

“We, as we have always done in the past, work out hearts out to earn the trust of the Okinawan people and the people of Japan as a whole,” said Roos.

Crimes committed by American military personnel in Japan and South Korea over the years have had significant political and diplomatic ramifications.

In 1995, after three servicemen on Okinawa were arrested for the rape and abduction of a 12-year-old girl, tens of thousands of Japanese joined street demonstrations. That prompted the United States and Japan to begin serious discussions about scaling back the military presence on the island.

Similar demonstrations occurred in South Korea in 2002 after a 57-ton armored vehicle during a training exercise ran over two schoolgirls. A court martial which found two U.S. soldiers not guilty of negligent homicide, furthered inflamed emotions among South Koreans.

The United States has more than 29,000 military personnel in South Korea.
 

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: riano from: ina
October 17, 2012 7:26 AM
japan's government must to have a law for US TROOPS if to walk
in japan territory with guide by military police and 10 AM must back to their barracks.


by: RLEE from: CHINA
October 17, 2012 4:11 AM
Very happy to read the news! That is the payoff of sworn brothers. No, Japan is a cur.


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
October 17, 2012 3:34 AM
I'm sure this kind of rape case is no less harmful for victims than the shot case of Pakistani gair by Taliban.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid