U.S. service members on Okinawa have been banned from drinking and restricted to base or their off-base residences after a crash involving a Marine in which a local man died.
In addition, all U.S. service members on mainland Japan are prohibited from buying or consuming alcohol on or off base after the accident before dawn Sunday.
Alcohol may have been a factor in the crash in Naha, in Okinawa prefecture, the U.S. military said. The U.S. government-funded Voice of America quoted local police as saying the Marine’s blood-alcohol level registered three times the legal limit during a breath test.
Police on the southern Japanese island reportedly arrested a 21-year-old Marine on suspicion of drunk driving, The Associated Press reoprted, citing Kazuhiko Miyagi of the Okinawa police. That information could not immediately be confirmed by NBC News.
A photo of the scene showed the local man’s small truck crumpled into an almost unrecognizable heap of twisted metal.
U.S. Forces Japan comprises about 50,000 U.S. service members, about half of them on Okinawa, and their presence has been a source of tension among local residents for years. Tens of thousands of people turned out in a massive protest in June 2016 after a U.S. base worker was arrested in connection with the killing of a local woman.
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SOURCE: NBC News, Alex Johnson and Courtney Kube