Officials to discuss how to prevent crimes by U.S. military personnel

Kyodo

Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba said Thursday the government will hold a working-level meeting next Wednesday with local governments in Okinawa and the U.S. military to discuss how to prevent misconduct involving American personnel.

The move follows a spate of alleged curfew violations by U.S. military personnel in the prefecture.

Calling the alleged violations “very regrettable,” Genba told reporters that effective measures to address crimes by U.S. military personnel need to be taken “wherever possible.” He expressed hope that participants will exchange views in a constructive manner.

The U.S. military has imposed an 11 p.m.-to-5 a.m. curfew on all service members in Japan following the alleged rape of a Japanese woman by two U.S. sailors in Okinawa in October. At the same time, it is reviewing existing rules governing the off-duty conduct of service members in the country.