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Entries in Sailors (4)

Tuesday
Nov272012

US Navy Bans Sailors in Japan from Drinking at Night

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(TOKYO) -- The U.S. Navy is cracking down on sailors in Japan following a string of arrests involving military personnel.

Sailors will now be banned from drinking alcohol between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m., even if they are in their homes, regardless of leave or liberty status.

The strict rule comes just weeks after U.S. forces in Japan enforced a curfew for all military personnel based there.  That was a direct response to allegations that two American sailors raped a young local woman in Okinawa last month.

A handful of other arrests have followed since.  In the most recent case, a sailor was caught urinating and stripping naked at a café.

About 53,000 troops are stationed in Japan, but the Japanese have become increasingly wary of the large military presence there.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct192012

US Military Imposes Curfew in Wake of Alleged Rape in Okinawa

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(TOKYO) -- In the wake of an alleged rape case involving two American sailors in Okinawa this week, the U.S. military on Friday imposed an immediate curfew on all personnel, on and off its bases in Japan.

On Tuesday, Seaman Christopher Browning and Petty Officer 3rd Class Skyler Dozierwalker were arrested by Okinawan authorities shortly after a local woman, 27, said she had been sexually assaulted and robbed in front of her apartment building.

The reported victim did not know the men, and initially ignored their advances outside a bar where the sailors had been drinking, Japanese media reports said.  The men followed her into an empty street, where they allegedly attacked her and slashed her neck.

Under the Status of Forces Agreement between the United States and Japan, Japanese authorities are holding the sailors and have primary jurisdiction because it involved a Japanese national.  The Navy's Criminal Investigative Service is also conducting its own investigation and providing support to Okinawan authorities.

A Navy official said the sailors are based at Fort Worth Naval Air Base in Texas and were temporarily deployed to Japan as part of the crew of a Navy cargo plane.  The plane's crew had flown a mission from Atsugi in Japan to Okinawa, but was required to stay the night on the island because of crew rest requirements.

The alleged incident is said to have occurred during their stay.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct172012

US Sailor Allegedly Confesses to Rape in Japan

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(TOKYO) -- One of the two U.S. sailors arrested in connection to the rape of a woman in Okinawa has confessed to the alleged crime, according to police on Japan's southernmost island.

Seaman Christopher Browning and Petty Officer 3rd Class Skyler Dozierwalker were arrested early Tuesday by Okinawan authorities shortly after a local woman, 27, said she had been sexually assaulted and robbed in front of her apartment building.

The reported victim did not know the men, and initially ignored their advances outside a bar where the sailors had been drinking, Japanese media reports said.  The men followed her into an empty street, where they allegedly attacked her and slashed her neck.

Police spokesman Yoshitaka Maeshiro, who would not elaborate on the extent of her injuries, said Dozierwalker had confessed to the crime while Browning has denied the allegations.

The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo acted swiftly in response to the allegations, putting out a statement overnight from Ambassador John Roos, expressing "concern" and vowing to cooperate "fully with the Japanese authorities in their investigation."

He apologized to Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima, a staunch critic of U.S. military presence on the island, who joined the Foreign Ministry in lodging a formal protest against the incident.

Addressing reporters, Roos assured the Japanese public he "understood their anger."

"The entire United States government, including our military, will continue to work our hearts out to earn the trust of the Okinawan people and the people of Japan," he said.

Washington's response speaks to the sensitivity of the alleged crime, on an island that's home to more than half of the 50,000 troops based in Japan.  The heavy presence has long been a point of contention between residents and the military community.  The anger reached a boiling in 1995 when three marines were arrested in connection with the rape of a 12-year-old girl.  U.S. military authorities took the men into custody then, sparking mass anti-U.S. demonstrations from Okinawans outraged they weren't prosecuting the case.

In a meeting with the minister of defense, Nakaima called the alleged incident "senseless" and demanded the U.S. do more to "discipline its servicemen."

Under the Status of Forces Agreement between the United States and Japan, Japanese authorities are holding the sailors and have primary jurisdiction because it involved a Japanese national.  The Navy's Criminal Investigative Service is also conducting its own investigation and providing support to Okinawan authorities.

A Navy official said the sailors are based at Fort Worth Naval Air Base in Texas and were temporarily deployed to Japan as part of the crew of a Navy cargo plane.  The plane's crew had flown a mission from Atsugi in Japan to Okinawa, but was required to stay the night on the island because of crew rest requirements.

The alleged incident is said to have occurred during their stay.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct162012

Two Sailors Arrested for Alleged Rape in Okinawa

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(OKINAWA, Japan) -- Two U.S. Navy sailors have been arrested in Okinawa for the alleged rape of a local woman.  The arrests come at a  rocky time for the U.S. military presence on Okinawa, which is home to half of the 50,000 American military forces based in Japan.

Seaman Christopher Browning and Petty Officer 3rd Class Skyler Dozierwalker were arrested early Wednesday by Okinawan authorities after a local woman alleged that she had been sexually assaulted and robbed in front of her apartment building.

A Navy official says that at approximately 4 a.m. Tuesday a group of sailors allegedly followed a 27-year-old woman to her residence.

Three sailors were picked up at 6 a.m. after she made a report to Okinawan authorities, but only Browning and Dozierwalker remain in custody.

The Japanese Foreign Ministry lodged a formal protest over the incident with the U.S. embassy in Japan.  Speaking to how seriously the incident is being taken by American diplomats in Japan, the embassy released a statement from U.S. Ambassador John Roos, saying the U.S. government is “extremely concerned” by the allegations.

“We are committed to cooperating fully with the Japanese authorities in their investigation,” he continued. "I am also in close contact with the Commander, U.S. Forces Japan.  These allegations, given their seriousness, will continue to command my full personal attention.”

The Okinawa governor, Hirokazu Nakaima, is expected to fly to Tokyo to lodge a formal complaint with the U.S. embassy in person.

For decades there has been significant local opposition to the continued  presence of large American military bases on the island, particularly the Marine base in Futenma.  The most recent flare-up involved the Marine deployment to the island of tilt rotor Osprey aircraft.  Local government officials said the aircraft posed a safety risk following two recent Osprey crashes that recalled the aircraft’s shaky safety record very early in its development.

There were massive protests on the island in 1995 following the rape of a 12-year-old schoolgirl by three U.S. Marines.

Per the Status of Forces Agreement between the U.S. and Japan, Japanese authorities are holding the sailors and have primary jurisdiction because it involved a Japanese national.  The Navy’s Criminal  Investigative Service is also conducting its own investigation and providing support to Okinawan authorities.

The Navy official says the sailors are based at Fort Worth Naval Air Base in Texas and were temporarily deployed to Japan as part of the crew of a Navy cargo plane.

The plane’s crew had flown a mission from Atsugi in Japan to Okinawa, but was required to stay the night on the island because of crew rest requirements.

The alleged incident is said to have occurred during their stay.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio