U.S. marine accused in drink drive case as Japanese man dies

  • World
  • Monday, 20 Nov 2017

TOKYO (Reuters) - A Japanese man was killed in a truck collision involving a 21-year-old U.S. marine who was well over the legal alcohol limit for driving, police said of a case that was likely to stoke resentment over the U.S. military presence on the southern island of Okinawa.

In response to the Sunday's fatal accident, U.S. forces in Japan banned, until further notice, all personnel in the country from drinking of alcohol.

"The Defence and Foreign Ministries have lodged a stern representation to the U.S. forces in Japan and the U.S. embassy in Japan, asking for the enforcement of discipline, prevention of recurrence and sincere response to the bereaved," Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a regular news conference on Monday.

U.S. Ambassador to Japan William Hagerty expressed his condolences and offered an apology, Suga said.

The accident occurred at an intersection in the city of Naha early Sunday morning. The marine was driving a military truck, and the 61-year-old crash victim was in a light truck.

The Japanese man was later pronounced dead, while the U.S. serviceman, who was arrested for the fatal accident and driving under the influence of alcohol, suffered scratches, a police official in Naha said.

The official said a breath test showed the marine was as much as three times over the legal limit for alcohol.

"When our service members fail to live up to the high standards we set for them, it damages the bonds between bases and local communities and make it harder for us to accomplish our mission," a statement from the U.S. forces in Japan said.

Last year, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe protested to then-U.S. President Barack Obama about the killing of a young woman in Okinawa, for which a U.S. base worker had been charged.

Obama, who was visiting Japan for a Group of Seven summit, expressed "deepest regrets."

The case is under trial.

Residents in Okinawa, a reluctant host to the bulk of U.S. bases in Japan, believe that they shoulder an unfair burden in supporting the U.S. military presence in Japan.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In World

Albanian PM compares EU entry and 'Waiting for Godot'
Irish fishermen take trawlers to central Dublin in Brexit protest
Kremlin critic Navalny discloses details of 'extremism' ruling
Swedish Centre Party to drop rent reforms, PM could form new government
EU military mission to Mozambique to be approved next month
Germany backs 1.4 billion euro purchase of Boeing maritime patrol aircraft - source
Deadly landmine legacy in Tripoli shows stakes of Libya talks
Russia says British destroyer violated maritime law - Interfax
Germany's Merkel criticises Hungary's anti-LGBT bill
Ivory Coast sentences former PM Soro to life imprisonment for plotting coup

Stories You'll Enjoy