In first official,Foreign Minister Taro Kono asked the top commander of U.S. military forces in Okinawa on Saturday to take preventive measures in light of accidents and incidents involving American personnel and equipment in the prefecture.

The request made at the meeting with Lt. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson in the prefectural capital of Naha came on the back of incidents including a crash-landing by a U.S. helicopter in October and the arrest of an allegedly drunk marine who was involved in fatal traffic accident that killed a resident last month.

"I think it is important to cooperate together for stable stationing of the U.S. military forces in Japan," Kono told Nicholson during their talks. "We need to work together to secure the understanding of the local community and what it means to host U.S. military forces."