Japanese police said Monday they have arrested a 24-year-old US sailor on suspicion of raping a Japanese woman in Okinawa in a case that could further fan sentiment against Washington’s military presence on the fortified southern island.
Okinawa was the site of a brutal World War II battle between Japan and the United States but is now considered a strategic linchpin supporting the two countries’ decades-long security alliance.
Pacifist sentiment, however, runs high on the crowded island, which makes up less than 1% of Japan’s total land area but is home to about 75% of US military bases in the country.
More than half of the 47,000 American military personnel in Japan are stationed there and rapes and other crimes by US service personnel have sparked local protests in the past.
A spokesman with the Okinawan prefectural police identified the arrested seaman as Justin Castellanos stationed at the US Marine Corps Camp Schwab base on the island.
Castellanos, arrested Sunday, allegedly raped the woman earlier in the day while she was unconscious at a hotel in the Okinawan capital city of Naha, the spokesman said. Read More