Japan protests alleged rape case by US sailor in Okinawa

TOKYO -- Japan has protested to the United States over an alleged rape by an American sailor on Okinawa, renewing ill feelings on the southern island that sees the US military presence there as a heavy and unfair burden.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday the arrest was extremely regrettable. The government demanded Washington tighten discipline among US personnel.

Okinawa police arrested Justin Castellanos, 24, a US Navy seaman at Camp Schwab. Police say he is suspected of sexually assaulting a Japanese tourist in her 40s as she slept at her hotel. Castellanos has not been formally charged.

About half of the 50,000 American troops in Japan are based in Okinawa, and its residents complain about noise and crime from the bases. (AP)
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