Japan arrests U.S. serviceman for sexual assault

Police in northern Japan arrested a U.S. serviceman on Friday for sexually assaulting a young woman, in the latest in a string of such cases involving American military that have sparked anger among Japanese.

Japan arrests U.S. serviceman for sexual assault
The 22-year-old man, stationed at Misawa Air Base in Aomori prefecture, at the northern tip of Japan's main island, is alleged to have groped the woman on the street early Friday morning, a police spokesman said.

Kyodo news agency said the victim was 19 and was walking home from a friend's house alone when attacked.

Police declined to give further details and U.S. Forces were not immediately available for comment on an incident that will cause fresh embarrassment.

A U.S. Marine faces a court martial on charges of kidnapping and raping a 14-year-old girl on Japan's southern island of Okinawa in February, in a case that sparked demonstrations on the island.

Four other U.S. Marines from a base in southwest Japan also face court martial over the rape of a Japanese woman last year and a U.S. sailor was arrested by Japanese police last month on suspicion of murdering a taxi driver.

The commander of U.S. troops in Japan, Lt. Gen. Edward Rice, said at his first news conference in April he would demand high standards of behavior from the 50,000 or so U.S. military personnel based in Japan.

The communities that host U.S. bases often complain of associated noise, crime and pollution, though some local people rely on them to make a living.

Last Mod: 02 Mayıs 2008, 15:01
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