US airman detained in Japan for car crash
Tokyo, February 11, 2013
First Published: 10:34 IST(11/2/2013)
Last Updated: 10:35 IST(11/2/2013)
Japanese police said Monday they have detained a US airman in Okinawa for allegedly causing a car accident while driving drunk, the latest in a series of arrests of American servicemen in the country.
Two drunken US sailors were arrested for trespassing last month after allegedly breaking a night-time curfew imposed last year following the gang-rape of a Japanese woman.
Eric Simmons, 41, who is stationed at the US Air Force's Kadena base in central Okinawa, allegedly drove a car under the influence of alcohol late Sunday and caused a pileup, an Okinawa police spokesman said.
No one was injured.
The US military imposed a curfew between 11:00 pm and 5:00 am on all its servicemen in Japan after two sailors were arrested on charges of raping a woman in Okinawa, a southern island chain, last October.
The drunk-driving suspect, who lives outside the base, claimed he was on his way to work and not in breach of the curfew, local media reported.
Despite the curfew, misconduct involving US servicemen has continued to fuel anti-US sentiment in communities with bases. Okinawa hosts more than half of the 47,000 US military personnel in Japan.