Alleged assault strains ties

John Roos.

TOKYO — Japan complained today about a “deplorable” incident in which a US serviceman is believed to have assaulted a teenaged boy on the southern island of Okinawa where opposition to US military bases is running high.

The US ambassador to Japan, John Roos, was summoned to the Foreign Ministry over the incident and later said the United States was very upset about it and would cooperate fully in an investigation.

A US servicemen was suspected of breaking into an apartment to assault the boy early today, media said.

The incident came shortly after the United States imposed a night-time curfew on military personnel after two US servicemen were arrested on suspicion of raping a Japanese woman.

Many people on Okinawa oppose a US base there.

“This happened when a night-time curfew was in place and it is extremely deplorable,” Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda was quoted as saying by Kyodo news agency, referring to the assault on the boy.

“A supposedly impermissible thing has happened.”

‘Hit in the face’

A foreign man, reportedly a US serviceman from the US Air Force’s Kadena base, broke in to an apartment on the third floor of a building and hit a 13-year-old boy in the face, Okinawa police said.

The man, who had apparently been drinking, seemed to have fallen out of a third-floor window and was hospitalised, police said. (Reuters)

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