Conflict & Justice

Okinawa Outrage Over Rape by US Sailors


The US military has a pervasive presence on Okinawa. (Photo: Sonia Narang)

It's a familiar story but the problem is no less real.

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Two American servicemen allegedly raped a young woman on the island of Okinawa earlier this week, igniting a storm of protest across Japan.

The incident is already being addressed at the highest levels of government.

The American ambassador to Tokyo was summoned to the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday for a diplomatic dressing down.

Ayako Mie of the Japan Times says the country is outraged.

The alleged rape comes as Okinawans are already angry at the imminent deployment of Osprey aircraft to the island.

The islanders believe the Osprey has a poor safety record and would be a hazard as it flies over densely populated areas.

However, Japan and the United States agree on the strategic need for the base, Mie says, given the rise of China.