• Kyodo


Police on Wednesday identified a U.S. Marine as the suspect in a hit-and-run incident in the city of Okinawa last week in which a 67-year-old man was seriously injured.

The Okinawa prefectural police plan to file charges against John Ahn, a 40-year-old major with the U.S. Marine Corps’ Camp Courtney in Uruma, Okinawa Prefecture, by the end of the year.

Ahn is currently in U.S. military custody. Under the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement, U.S. service members are not, in principle, turned over to Japanese authorities until they are indicted.

The police do not intend to seek custody as they do not see any risk of Ahn escaping.

Ahn has allegedly told investigators he fled the scene because he was scared, according to the police. No one else was in the car at the time of the incident.

It is believed that the car and the minibike of the victim, Seiki Kamimura, collided on a road in the city at around 5 a.m. on Thursday, and Ahn is suspected of having fled without helping the man.

Kamimura was found collapsed on the road and was taken to a hospital, where he remains unconscious due to a head injury.

The incident took place while Ahn was on his way to Camp Courtney, where he works, from his home at the U.S. Marines’ Camp Kinser, also known as the Makiminato Service Area, in Urasoe.

The investigators identified Ahn as the suspect after pieces of a side mirror found on the road were matched to his car, the police said.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.