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Japan urges U.S. to discipline troops in Okinawa

Tokyo, Dec. 22 (Jiji Press)–Japan has urged the U.S. military to strengthen discipline among its troops stationed in the country in response to Tuesday’s arrest of a U.S. Marine on suspicion of drunken driving in Okinawa Prefecture, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said Wednesday.


The arrest of the U.S. Marine, who belongs to Camp Hansen in the southernmost Japan prefecture, came at a time when the U.S. base has been hit by a cluster of COVID-19 infections.


The incident is “regrettable as it causes great anxiety for local people working to prevent the spread of infections,” Matsuno told a press conference.


Keiichi Ichikawa, director-general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s North American Affairs Bureau, made the request to Lt. Gen. Ricky Rupp, commander of U.S. Forces Japan.


The U.S. side pledged to test COVID-19 patients at Camp Hansen for the omicron coronavirus variant.


Matsuno also said that the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases reported at Camp Hansen had risen to 215 as of Wednesday morning.

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