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|Wednesday, July 05, 2000, updated at 20:03(GMT+8)|
Okinawa Protests at US Serviceman's Alleged Molesting of GirlThe assembly of Japan's southernmost island prefecture of Okinawa on Wednesday adopted a resolution protesting at the recent alleged molesting of a 14-year-old girl by an Okinawa-based U.S. Marine, the Kyodo News Service reported.
The assembly unanimously approved the resolution demanding the Japanese and U.S. governments take measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents and apply strict discipline to U.S. soldiers, the report said.
On Monday, Japanese police arrested a drunk 19-year-old U.S. Marine based at the Futemma Air Station in Ginowan on suspicion of breaking into a home in the city of Okinawa and molesting a junior high school girl while she was sleeping.
"The frequent crimes committed by U.S. soldiers are causing great anxiety and shock on the people of Okinawa Prefecture," the resolution said.
"The prefectural assembly has been protesting at such acts, and it is absolutely unpardonable it has happened again," it said Meanwhile, some 80 members of local civic groups gathered in front of the U.S. Marine headquarters in the prefecture to protest at the incident.
In response to the allegations, Earl Hailston, chief of U.S. forces stationed in Okinawa, issued a statement Wednesday expressing his apologies to the family involved and his regret at the anxiety the incident has created.
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