U.S. troops located in Japan, have been banned from drinking alcohol, and Okinawa-based service members are now confined to their residences and the base.
The announcement comes following a fatal incident in which a drunk Marine crashed his truck into another vehicle, killing a 61-year-old man. The accident occurred at 5:31 a.m. on Sunday in Naha, the capital of Okinawa.
Marine PFC Nicholas James-McLean, who was slightly injured in the accident, has since been arrested. According to police, James-McLean’s alcohol level was three times over the legal limit.
In response to the accident, U.S. Forces Japan issued a statement restricting service members to base and residences. No alcohol consumption is allowed anywhere, whether in residences or public locations. Service members cannot purchase or consume alcohol.
According to the release, U.S. commanders in Japan will lead training on responsible alcohol use. All service members and U.S. government civilians in the area must attend.
“The vast majority of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and civilians in Japan serve honorably and make great contributions to the defense of Japan,” U.S. Forces Japan said in a statement. “When our service members fail to live up to the high standards we set for them, it damages the bonds between bases and local communities and makes it harder for us to accomplish our mission.”
The case will be sent to Naha prosecutors on Tuesday to see if an indictment will move forward.
The U.S. has a total of 44,000 troops stationed in Japan, and more than 25,000 are based in Okinawa.
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