A US marine has been arrested for killing an elderly Okinawan man with his drunken driving, their curfew seemingly doing nothing to stop the intermittent rampage of US forces on the island.
The 21-year-old marine was driving a two-ton military truck and collided with the mini-truck of a 61-year-old man at 0500, the marine’s alcohol blood levels being three times Japan’s legal limit of 0.03% – and a witness also claims that the marine ran a red light.
The victim was hit from the opposite direction whilst turning and was rushed to a hospital after the impact; unfortunately he later died at the hospital – Japan’s foreign ministry on the matter:
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan, expressed its deep regret over this incident and requested that discipline would be strengthened and that measures would be taken to prevent recurrence.”
Yet another salvo of apologies were offered by Lawrence Nicholson, commanding general of the U.S. Marine Forces Japan:
“I would like to convey my deepest regret and sincere condolences to the family and friends of the Okinawan man who died as a result of this accident. We are still gathering facts and working with the Japanese authorities who are investigating the accident and its causes.”
As a result of the accident (sure to trigger yet more conflict between Okinawan citizens and the 47,000 or so US troops stationed there), all US personnel have been forbidden from drinking alcohol – a punishment originally reserved for mostly the navy.
According to Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, Tokyo immediately issued a complaint after the drunk-driving accident came to light and demanded that the US military enforce stricter discipline:
“It is extremely regrettable that this accident happened even though the Japanese government has repeatedly asked them for the thorough implementation of preventive measures and enforcement of disciplines.”
With only so many more punishments left to dole out, just how the unruly American forces can be kept under strict enough discipline to keep Okinawans happy seems something of a mystery.