OKINAWA—With regard to an incident in which a 32-year-old civilian employee of the U.S. military was arrested on suspicion of pickpocketing in Okinawa City on Oct. 23, Okinawa Mayor Kuwae Sachio mailed a written protest on Oct. 29 to a total of four Japanese and U.S. organizations, including the chief of U.S. Marine Corps forces stationed in Okinawa and the Okinawa Defense Bureau. The document requested apologies be made to the victims and measures be taken to prevent recurrence of similar incidents.
Okinawa City reportedly was informed about the incident by email by the Okinawa Defense Bureau on Oct. 23. According to the city, the suspect was arrested for stealing a wallet containing about 2,000 yen in cash and other items from an Okinawa resident outside a hotel in the central part of the city early in the morning of Oct. 23.
In the written protest, the mayor referred to a robbery incident in August last year as well as an attempted rape in April, writing, “We are deeply concerned about U.S. military civilian employees’ lack of respect for social norms as well as the lack of awareness within the [relevant] organizations of the need for preventive measures.”