US Soldier Kidnaps And Rapes Underaged Girl In Japan

US Soldier Kidnaps And Rapes Underaged Girl In Japan

A US soldier has been charged with the kidnapping and rape of a teenage girl in Okinawa, a Japanese island chain that hosts the region’s largest American military base.

The case is likely to stoke the long-standing local opposition to US military presence – the islands are home to more than half of the 54,000 US soldiers serving in Japan.

The anger has also been fuelled by sexual assault cases – one of the most high-profile was in 1995, when a 12-year-old girl was raped by three US service personnel, sparking months-long protests.
The latest allegation also involves a minor, who is younger than 16, the age of consent in Japan.

The 25-year-old Air Force man allegedly assaulted her on 24 December and he was identified through security camera footage after the girls’ family reported it, local media said.

He was charged in late March and has been in the custody of Japanese authorities since then, government spokesman Yoshimasa Hayashi said on Tuesday when he revealed the charges to the public.

“We will continue to request the US side to prevent such incidents at every opportunity,” Mr Hayashi said, adding that US officials were cooperating fully with investigators.

He also said Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has lodged a complaint with the US Ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emmanuel. He added that the first hearing in the case is scheduled for 12 July.

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