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Effectiveness of patrolling Okinawa streets to prevent incidents involving U.S. military personnel questionable

  • August 29, 2021
  • , Ryukyu Shimpo
  • JMH Translation

Sunday’s Ryukyu Shimpo asserted that the effectiveness of a GOJ project to patrol the streets of Okinawa at night to prevent incidents involving U.S. military service members is questionable because although more than 3.5 billion yen ($31 million) has been spent on the project in the past five years, 75.4%, or 1,258 cases, involved inebriated local citizens, while 0.6%, or 10 cases, involved persons connected with the U.S. military. Among the 10 cases, five involved intoxicated personnel, four were related to traffic accidents, and one was triggered by a quarrel. The GOJ launched the project in June 2016 following the incident in April 2016 in which a U.S. base worker sexually assaulted and murdered a local woman. Under the project, temporary staff hired by the Okinawa bureaus of the Cabinet Office and the Defense Ministry patrol downtown streets between 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. in 100 patrol cars with revolving blue lights, and personnel at private security companies monitor the streets outside these hours.

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