US military in Japan under alcohol ban after accident

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TOKYO: US Forces in Japan banned all personnel from consuming alcohol after a drink-driving accident in Okinawa where anti-base sentiment runs high. A US Marine crashed his vehicle into a mini-truck at an intersection on Sunday, killing the other driver, 61. The 21-year-old, whose breath test showed an alcohol level three times the legal limit, was arrested and charged with negligent driving resulting in death, police said. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Tokyo made an immediate complaint about the case to the US side, demanding the US military enforce strict discipline and take preventive steps. All US servicemen stationed in Japan are now banned from drinking, both on and off base, the US Forces in Japan said in a statement. In Okinawa, personnel are also restricted to base or to their residences. The US has several military bases in Japan and stations about 47,000 troops in the country as part of a joint security treaty.

AFP

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