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US Marine in Japan’s Okinawa arrested after woman injured during attempted rape

A US Marine in his 20s in Okinawa prefecture was arrested in May on suspicion of injuring a woman while attempting to rape her, investigative sources said on Friday, while local police withheld the information.

The disclosure came days after it was also revealed that a US air force serviceman in Japan’s southernmost island prefecture was indicted in March for allegedly kidnapping and sexually assaulting a girl under the age of 16 in December, further escalating anti-American sentiment in the region.

Critics say Okinawa bears an unreasonable burden in hosting US bases. The prefecture is home to most US military facilities in Japan, almost 80 years after the country’s defeat in World War II. Okinawa was returned to Japan from US control half a century ago.

According to local prosecutors, Jamel Clayton, 21, was indicted on June 17 on charge of trying to sexually assault a woman and injuring her when she resisted in the prefecture on May 26. He fled, but prefectural police, who received a report, arrested him outside the base area the same day, the investigative sources said.

In Tokyo, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi acknowledged on Friday that the man was indicted, but the top government spokesman declined to elaborate on the details, citing an ongoing judicial proceeding.


‘US bases on Okinawa inevitable’: perceptions shift in Japan on American military presence

Describing the incident as “extremely regrettable,” Hayashi said Japan’s Vice-Foreign Minister Masataka Okano conveyed regret to US ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel regarding the recent spate of sexual crimes believed to be committed by US soldiers.

Okano urged Emanuel to take thorough measures to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents,