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>> The US Navy on Monday banning alcohol and restricting off base activities for all of its nearly 19,000 sailors stationed in Japan. The order prompted by the arrest of an American officer on drunk driving charges, following a car crash in Okinawa that injured two people. In a statement Rear Admiral Matthew Carter, Commander of US Naval Forces in Japan, said quote, it is imperative each sailor understand how our actions affect the US Japan alliance as a whole.
The order also comes as US forces observe a 30 day mourning period at bases in Okinawa, after an American civilian working for the US military was arrested in connection with the murder of a Japanese woman. Reuters's Jason Fields is following the story.>> It also puts into play this really interesting dynamic where you have the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, who very much wanted to build military ties with the United States.
>> Not necessarily what his people want, but it's certainly something he wants. And now you have an incident where military cooperation, well what does it lead to?>> Renewed anger among residents of Okinawa, the site of the brutal World War II battle, has sparked protest against plans to relocate a US Marines air base to a less populous part of the island.
Many Okinawa residents now want the marines gone completely. The US Naval Commander says sailors will be kept on base and banned from drinking indefinitely or until they quote, understand the impact of responsible behavior.