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U.S. airman arrested in Okinawa for causing accident while driving drunk

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Wow...On his way to work while drunk? Seems another unfortunate and stupid decision by another serviceman. I'll get my popcorn ready and enjoy the comments later here on JT.

16 ( +17 / -3 )

41,... stationed at the U.S. Air Force’s Kadena ...lives outside the base

What rank ? Too high to tell ?

he was on his way to work

Brave man ! So many lazy guys would have called drunk... well sick.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

claimed he was on his way to work

That's so his Uncle Sam can protect him.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Nobody was hurt...*yawn.

-9 ( +4 / -12 )

Well first of all. 41 years old means he was really high ranking. I don't see a airman who is 21 years in. I think it was a officer. His ridiculous statement is because he panicked. He knew his career is over and possibly take his retirement away from him.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

41 years old, he must have been important given the pace at which rank is awarded in the US. And obviously he has responsibilities requiring work at night when a military base is most vulnerable. Down the pub for a few quick beers before driving to work, just to take the edge off - you know. It's sad but true that the drink culture in many militaries is so pervasive that it often leads to wide spread alcoholism. This is well known and is being addressed, but I have not seen the numbers so cannot comment on this. -military brat.

1 ( +6 / -6 )

My goodness, not again... Seriously, this has got to stop. Many of my close friends were in ROTC and the like for the different branches of the military when I was in college, and my best friends in it studied Japanese with me (one even studied abroad in Japan with me). They put Japan as their number one preference for their station, and even though they were the only ones in their group with any experience with Japan, some other bimbo with no interest was sent there. The military has got to place these people more appropriately. I've met many a serviceman in Japan and Okinawa who sees being stationed in Japan more like being in a prison while others would see it as a great opportunity. Especially in such a delicate situation as with Okinawa, you'd think they'd be more sensitive to place men and women who wouldn't have these break-downs and huge lapses in judgment.

10 ( +10 / -1 )

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.

Supposedly he had 6 times the legal amount when tested.

うるま署によると、交差点で追突事故を起こしたシモンズ容疑者の呼気を検査したところ、基準値の6倍を超えるアルコールを検出した。

http://ryukyushimpo.jp/news/storyid-202492-storytopic-1.html

No mention of just how many cars were involved. It will be on the news tonight. If he is guilty, have him pay the fine, take his license, and treat him like any other drunk driver in Japan. The military will be tougher on him BY FAR.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Hang on a minute! Before all the "Oh, my dawg!" statements start coming out consider this: The article makes no mention of his level of intoxication and the legal limit in Japan is 0.01. It is highly likely he had been drinking the night before and still had alcohol in his system. I am not defending or condoning drink driving in the slightest, but the way this article reads is blatant media sensationalism and it is this that is fuelling the anti-American movement in Okinawa. You should also note, the article states "allegedly".

-6 ( +6 / -10 )

That anyone in the military could plan on arriving at work drunk (or even just under the influence of alcohol) just shows how irresponsible this man is. What if that man were responsible for coordinating a response to a sensitive situation involving the Chinese? He could well make the wrong call under the influence of alcohol. Or perhaps he's just a technician loading ordinance.... and he fumbles the controls resulting in an explosion.

If you're pro-U.S. you'll be calling for his head, because his irresponsible actions weren't just off base, he was heading to work intoxicated, and endangering everyone on the base through his behaviour. A dishonorable discharge is the very best he should get, and I would be asking for a general courtmarshal.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

For how long do we have to put up with this?

Time for the US bases to close.

Bye!

-20 ( +9 / -27 )

Before the bases close and move away...You better be darn sure you have better relation's with China...Those very bases may be the olny thing holding China and North Korea back...now please think about that Honorable BertieWooster San...

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Drunk driving is now severely punished. If he was Japanese, he would be fired by his company or something

I wish this were true but it isn't the reality of it. Car companies and other large companies DO indeed fire people but certainly not all. And many folks here get off not getting charged at all. Japan has harsh punishments but they aren't handed out and very few drunk drivers get caught here. I'm glad this one did. As far as I'm concerned, drive drunk, get caught? No driver's license ever again. One of the most selfish and dumbest things someone can do.

-5 ( +4 / -8 )

kaketama: "If he was Japanese, he would be fired by his company or something"

If he were Japanese it would not even be in the news, as this happens all the time here, and especially given no one was hurt.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Shameful

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@BertieWooster

For how long do we have to put up with this?

What, drunk driving?

As long as there is alcohol and cars, I would imagine.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

BertieWooster: "For how long do we have to put up with this?"

Drinking and driving in Japan? I'd say as long as there are Japanese and enkais and police who have a special one-week safety campaign every year. Seriously, go by ANY izakaya and/or yakitori or bar and see bicycles, motorbikes/scooters, and PTA bicycles parked outside, then go in and see that the people who drive them are drinking. The ONLY reason this is making news is that it's a US serviceman -- had it been a regular Japanese it wouldn't have made the news as such (perhaps local since there was a pile-up). And NO ONE was injured, Bertie. You should be more worried about old-codgers who mow down a bunch of pedestrians and complaining about them.

PS. There's NO WAY the bases will be closed with the provocation Japanese is using towards China and vice-versa; Japan needs the US more than ever -- or are you going to kick them out AFTER you ask for their carrier to guard the pile of rocks outside Okinawa?

9 ( +16 / -7 )

The article makes no mention of his level of intoxication and the legal limit in Japan is 0.01. It is highly likely he had been drinking the night before and still had alcohol in his system.

Read my post, it's the one right before yours. And if you read the article he was arrested at 11:30PM not AM so if he had alcohol in his system from the night before, and at 6 TIMES the legal limit, the dude would probably be dead.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

If he were Japanese it would not even be in the news,

Actually it probably would have been in the news if it involved a multiple car accident as this one. It will be on tonights news I'll bet on it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Why use words like allegedly and suspect if they know he did it? Judging from the news it sounds like crime involving service members suddenly shot up after the curfew. I wonder what the cause could be.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

In case there is any ambiguity in my comment.

What so many people in Okinawa are getting fed up with is US servicemen who do stupid things.

Drunk driving is pretty stupid, whoever does it.

For a US serviceman to do it AND get caught AND cause an ACCIDENT at this time, is stupider than stupid.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Actually saw this on NHK TV News at noon today.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What if he had been drinking at home or outside but was at home in time for curfew, all ok until this point...but as is very common in the military got called on to work for whatever reason.... Next action would be to say "you have to come and get me, I've been drinking" but unfortunately he thought he was ok to drive..... 1130 is not a normal shift schedule so I think he may have been called in! Still stupid for driving drunk but not intentionally getting his drink on before a usual shift! Just my two yen....

5 ( +5 / -0 )

they found about six times the legal amount of alcohol in his system

I thought drinking and driving was no tolerance here? What is this "legal amount" they speak of?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The article is not yet edited ? I think his rank is a very important information.

it's a US serviceman

It's not a serviceman.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Don't care if the tosser's a serviceman or Japanese citizen... you don't drink and drive.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

darknuts: "Why use words like allegedly and suspect if they know he did it? "

I believe the media is legally obliged, in all cases, to use such language until an innocent or guilty verdict is handed down by the courts -- otherwise it could be libel. Even when people have confessed to doing something such language is still used, and being a US serviceman is no exception.

Yubaru: "Actually it probably would have been in the news if it involved a multiple car accident as this one."

I DID say it might make the local news.

"It will be on tonights news I'll bet on it."

Yes, but what does that prove -- it doesn't prove it would be on the news or generate the same hype if it were a Japanese citizen and not a US serviceman.

Bertie: "What so many people in Okinawa are getting fed up with is US servicemen who do stupid things."

In many cases it's simply people misdirecting their own personal anger or guilt over other things -- it's easy to blame something 'outside' for all your own problems. They wouldn't have the same freedom to gripe about crimes committed by US military (at a far lesser rate than Okinawans in general) under a Chinese flag, which is what the islands would be if the US weren't there protecting them.

"Drunk driving is pretty stupid, whoever does it."

Agreed, but you're on here talking specifically about closing the bases and serving yourself to the Chinese, not talking about the wrongs of drinking and driving in general. What's the percentage of drinking and driving incidents involving the US military vs. those of Okinawans?

0 ( +6 / -6 )

He will not be prosecuted, tomorrow or even this evening he will walk free. Prosecutor will drop the case, lack of evidence, so classic. Prosecutor already got a "special call" asking him or her to forget about this case. Nothing will happen to this guy. Already happened before, will happen again. Prosecutors just keep dropping cases, one by one.

Barking dogs never bite.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

tmarie: "Bertie, I'm tired of the regular Okinawans who cry about the US military while ignore the huge social issues they have in their communities where the Japanese are at fault."

Here here! Exactly what I was talking about -- they NEED the US military presence if for nothing else than to blame said military for all the Okinawans' wrong-doings, or at the very least to try and deflect. It's like the "No Rape, No Base!" signs the fools in Tokyo were wearing while protesting the US presence, and yet did you see them out there protesting Judo and/or rape when an Olympic athlete was given a guilty sentence for raping a young woman? Did you see them out there when one of Abe's cabinet had to quit for rape? Nope. The US service people are just fodder for upset locals who live off them anyway.

And here we see it again -- what's the bigger issue? drinking and driving or the US military presence in Okinawa? It should certainly be the former, which is unforgivable, but many will make it out to be the latter. Nakaima will be up on his soapbox soon milking this for all it's worth.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No discipline

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The guy probably got called into work BUT he still could've taken a cab, had a friend drive him...

Supposing he was an "airman", you think he should take a cab to go pilot an osprey ?

what's the bigger issue? drinking and driving or the US military presence in Okinawa?

Neither. It's the story that a [fill in the rank for me] said he was going to work intoxicated...

did you see them out there protesting...

The reasons why Okinawans don't want the bases are not the bad "education" of the military guys. But surely, the activists will do like any activists do. They use any incident that brings water to their cause. They'd be d*mb if they didn't use scandals that are brought to them on a tray, served weekly...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

OK. SAYONARA.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

why not have a new column for US Military personnel, another one for the J-Police Force...

4 ( +6 / -2 )

DUI ? In the Military ? Zero tolerance with all the budget cuts.............He's done.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The individual was an E8.

His BAC was .2, DWI in Japan is .08, so he was close to three times over the limit.

Official Duty status does not apply in DWI/DUI incidents - he falls under jurisdiction of the Japanese first, then under the UCMJ afterward.

He exercised extremely poor judgement, and if proven, he will no doubt pay a heavy penalty; both in terms of money, and to his military career.

But for the anti-US crowd, please don't generalize or ascribe this lone person's stupid mistake to all the other 100,000 law abiding US military affiliated personnel in Japan ......that's unfair and discriminatory.......

6 ( +8 / -2 )

According to this evening's local news broadcast; His blew 6.7 times over the limit, it was a 3 car accident, he evidently hit someone from behind and pushed the car he hit into another car stopped in front of it, hence the use of the word "pileup" in the article here, AND here is the kicker as he was arrested on the scene he gave the excuse that he was on his way to work.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hey military. Are you trying to break the lease here or what?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

His BAC was .2, DWI in Japan is .08, so he was close to three times over the limit.

DWI maybe, BUT Japanese law has something called "driving under the influence" and even after driving after drinking one beer someone potentially could be arrested for that.

Oh and btw the information below here if from the US Dept of State.

Japan has a national zero percent blood-alcohol level standard for driving, and drivers stopped for driving under the influence of intoxicants will have their licenses confiscated.

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1148.html#traffic_safety

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If you're pro-U.S. you'll be calling for his head,

Oh, don't worry, he will get his...

His career is over... This day and age, with the defense cuts... He's gone, of course after that Okinawan town hangs him high... He'll be on the first mac flight to the states... Now a days, they are looking for any reason to cut people, and if they don't find any, they make them up... So rest assured, this incident effectively changed his life forever, he'll be working at McDonalds.. And thank god, no one was injured...

So as so many have already posted... "Yawn.../~" Nothing to see here...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The story is about a man who got charged with DWI and having an accident. All the comments about other issues that want to be attached to the story are just to create tension or try to relieve tension from the part of the story that he is a U.S. serviceman. To rant about removal of bases serves what purpose in accord with the story? The story gives the ranters a place to post their protests against bases. If you feel so strongly about base removal, write or phone city ward offices and/or the base commanders, people who's job requires them to pay attention.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

DRUNK DRIVERS KILL PEOPLE .. end of story.

If he was in the USA ... it is quite likely he would be looking at some serious jail time (depending on which state in was in)

Throw the book at him and all over idiots that drink and drive. He should be made to work at a local Accident and Emergency section of a local hospital and experience the pain and suffering caused by DRUNK DRIVERS every week.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

DWI maybe, BUT Japanese law has something called "driving under the influence" and even after driving after drinking one beer someone potentially could be arrested for that.

Japan has three levels of intoxicated driving; Driving While Drinking Indicated (>.03), Driving Under the Influence >.05), and Diving While Intoxicated (>.08).

The media obviously used the most stringent measure to inflate the incident.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If his blood-alcohol level was 6 times the legal limit in Japan, then it was still below the legal limit in most states in America. I love how the article says "latest in a series of arrests of service personel", which equates to one every couple of weeks or so.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

If his blood-alcohol level was 6 times the legal limit in Japan, then it was still below the legal limit in most states in America.

Irrelevant. He was driving on a Japanese road, American laws do not apply.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

He should be demoted.

But since Japan is trying to dispute with every of his neighbor, to cover his Abs, Japan should pay each US soldier there a big bonus just for them to keep staying there.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Say it's .03 times that by 6 according to the article. He's .18 which is illegal in both the United States and Japan.. And at least double in the United States. Who gives a damn what multiplier they use, it's still way over the limit..

2 ( +2 / -0 )

cleo-san,

He was driving on a Japanese road, American laws do not apply.

Exactly.

Years ago he might have got away with it.

But not now.

-4 ( +2 / -5 )

If the country treats .01 BAC as a legal limit for driving and you "roll the dice" by driving after a few beers, then the only one at fault is you. They put this information out to the servicemen... repeatedly. He's got no excuse. The "I was on my way to work so I'm not in violation of the curfew." reasoning is a nice dodge for avoiding trouble with the U.S. Military over curfew violation, but the excuse has absolutely nothing to do with the arrest for DUI and causing the accident.

@BertieWooster

What so many people in Okinawa are getting fed up with is US servicemen who do stupid things.

Gee Okinawans must be geniuses who never "do stupid things" or you'd be demanding they leave Okinawa too, right? I'm no longer in the service, but I imagine the servicemen there are pretty fed up with the Okinawans, too. Okinawans ticketed for drunk driving and nary a peep. One American ticketed for drunk driving and causing (apparently) a fender bender at a stop light and it's picked-up by AFP for worldwide distribution.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

6 times over the limit; the limit in JP is '0' Therefore '0' X 6 = '0' I am not drunk officer!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

If indeed the limit is zero in Japan, watch out for your cough drops!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Ooooopppps! "On my way to work" "I don't think I should have said that"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Fadamor, if the Okinawans you speak of as being ticketed for drunk driving were military personnel stationed in the U.S.A., and their presence there was as unpopular as the US military is here, I'm sure a lot of people would pay more attention to them than the US locals arrested for similar offences.

I'm not saying, by the way, that it's OK for ANYBODY to drink and drive.

But the reason a US serviceman makes the news here when he does something daft like this is because the US bases are not wanted here.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Bertie , I like how they label Zero tolerance drunk driving that is not even remotely close to impairing someone's ability to control a vehicle unless they have some allergy to alcohol.

Also why is everything that hits the news about the service members have to be dragged back to the rape incident ??? It's done to stigmatize and compound the effect of what's been done no matter the level of severity. Enough of the rape talk.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

lincolnmanFeb. 11, 2013 - 06:40PM JST But for the anti-US crowd, please don't generalize or ascribe this lone person's stupid mistake to all the other 100,000 law abiding US military affiliated personnel in Japan ......that's unfair and discriminatory.......

I don't think that anyone actually did this, what they did do was criticise someone in the armed forced for behaving irresponsibly and point out that this was utterly unacceptable.

Pause to consider the term "armed forces" for a moment. If this person was a police officer, who's entitled to carry a firearm and exercise authority, the entire police department would have been roundly criticised, and rightly so. Now consider for a moment that those in the military are in control of weapons that are incredibly powerful, and equipment that if mishandled could cause huge casualties. Are we not entitled to expect a commensurately greater level of responsibility and good behaviour from these individuals? And when this behaviour is not forthcoming are we not entitled to criticise the structures that are supposed to keep these individuals in line? I would say that criticism is the least that the military can expect for this.

Finally, this isn't anti-U.S. If this individual had caused a similar incident back in the U.S. he would have been roundly criticised in the newspapers, along with the entire base. Trying to insist on a different standard simply because it happened in Japan is racist.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Just another drunken fool.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Send the bases to Kyushu Island. It is not that far up. Why should Okinawans have to put up with endless problems?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Tony EwFeb. 12, 2013 - 03:17AM JST Send the bases to Kyushu Island. It is not that far up. Why should Okinawans have to put up with endless problems?

There are already several air force bases on Kyushu. They don't make the news all that often... in fact I can't remember seeing them in the news once. It could be because Okinawans hate the marines and blow every incident out of proportion.... or it could be that the bases on Kyushu are air force, not navy, and thus are better behaved - the marines have recently been recruiting from the very lowest echelons of society, while the air force requirements are much stricter. Or it could be a combination of both, super-sensitive locals and ill-mannered marines.

Perhaps what Okinawa needs is for the Marines to move out and the air force move in? I'm pretty sure that would solve the issue.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@Frungy

Thank you. It could very well be Okinawa is a very boring place with maybe a dozen GI bars to visit. You compare the land mass between Kyushu and Okinawa, you can see a marine in Okinawa will be bored after being there a couple of months. There is just not that much to do. Further up in Kyushu, he can crawl all the bars all over the islands and probably can find some other things to do too!

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

There needs to be a restriction on these men. While I understand that one mans actions does not define an entity there is a problem that needs to be addressed. First of all consuming a large quantity of alcohol is not just an American problem but a problem the world itself has. You can go to virtually any country and find someone with a bad drinking problem. This in itself is a cultural problem. There should be restrictions at bars as well as to how much alcohol one can intake.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He claims he was on his way to work and not in breach of the curfew my butt! 6x the alcohol limt? C'mon! He's obviously in breach of common sense and soberness as well. Knuckleheads like this joker make it really bad for the military folks who actually obey the rules and behave themselves.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Tony EwFeb. 12, 2013 - 04:06AM JST @Frungy Thank you. It could very well be Okinawa is a very boring place with maybe a dozen GI bars to visit. You compare the land mass between Kyushu and Okinawa, you can see a marine in Okinawa will be bored after being there a couple of months. There is just not that much to do. Further up in Kyushu, he can crawl all the bars all over the islands and probably can find some other things to do too!

One of the bases is up in Aomori... a more boring place I cannot think of. However, the wonder of Kyushu is that a few hours on the trains (and a large'ish wad of yen) will get you almost anywhere on the mainland, which includes Tokyo... although I shudder to think how many more crime reports we'd have if the Marines were let loose in Roppongi.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

smithinjapanFeb. 11, 2013 - 03:07PM JST ... PS. There's NO WAY the bases will be closed with the provocation Japanese is using towards China and vice-versa; Japan needs the US more than ever -- or are you going to kick them out AFTER you ask for their carrier to guard the pile of rocks outside Okinawa?

A very interesting and, seems to me, a valid point. American troops in Japan, however, will be further demonized while kept in place and used. Maybe time for Obama to rethink the US Asian politics.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Bertie: Please stop screaming for U.S. bases to close. The guy drove drunk and will most likely get a more severe punishment than the Japanese courts will give him. His career if definitely over; today's military has zero tolerance when it comes to drunk driving. Please stop acting like every time a U.S. military person steps out of line they need to be tried for war crimes and publicly executed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So, Aomori and Okinawa are bad places to have US bases because they are boring!

Wow!

So, how about relocating them in somewhere more interesting, like Tokyo or Osaka?

Then the number of incidents involving US servicemen would REALLY soar!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Here in Kyushu, the base is not an issue and although things happen from time to time here they are not as widely know about or making national news. Why? because here someone is not trying to push some "agenda" like they are in Okinawa or on this website it seems. Seriously, a DUI is front page news, or a water bottle falling out of a plane? The only reason you are hearing about them is because of an agenda.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Social media allows many people in America to realize and keep an eye on what is going on in Okinawa. 6x the limit would make him dead, someday they will make alcohol and cigarettes illegal. US service men are in the main honorable and champions of peace. Some are crazy and that is why they are in the military.. some are made crazy with PTSD.. some are lonely and bored with nothing to do. Okinawan people are humble, giving, nature loving like native Hawaiians. I have great empathy for the Okinawa culture and the disgraceful way some in the military takes responsibility as those who say they are partners in peace. There must be much more informed views than mine.. but even if there is great economic benefit to having a military base spending millions to help the local economy.. there must be as many reasons for the GI to leave and move to Guam or another island that needs to be developed as a ocean research station or something that supports long term objectives within Military doctrines. I am sure they dont want to be there either unless they fall in love with the beauty of the island and the people and respect local culture and way of life.. that is better than most places I have been in mainland US or Japan.. you have a sacred and beautiful island and a destiny to share unconditional love and healing with all who come to your shores. Moving the base off island could in fact be a gesture of peace with China I would think. In todays videogame warfare.. no one is going to be storming beaches in China or anywhere else.. and troops would rather hang out with us in Hawaii. But you should know.. a vet returning from service in Afganistan.. got drunk a few weeks ago.. started driving up on sidewalks at 3am.. would not stop for police.. so they shot and killed him in the middle of town waking up 10,000 tourists on vacation and it was cleaned up by morning and only a few words in the news so as to not alarm visitors... that is Hawaii Five-0 for real. Okinawa must be an island of peace that is the legacy of the thousands that perished needlessly at the end of WWII.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They really are walking on eggshells. I can understand how a rape accusation would be newsworthy but a car accident...in which nobody was injured..come on now. If the chap was called into work suddenly then he was silly to drive, thats a given. Should've called a taxi or just come clean and told them he had had a few and so call the next on the list. If he was on-call then he shouldn't have been drinking at all, also a given. Achieving a level 6 times over the legal limit is not difficult given that the legal limit here is zero, or not far off, I believe. I'm not condoning drunk-driving but this story is simply not worth getting ones panties all bunched up about. It's certainly not newsworthy. The only thing it does is serve as a further sigh-worthy warning to the bases that the media n local elements are out to get them and the order of the day has to be keeping your nose very very clean indeed.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Bertie - they are in Tokyo as well. Very likely they are also in puppet country you call home :) cheers

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Frungy, I have to correct your statement about the bases on Kyushu. Fleet Activities Sasebo is a sizable Naval base. There is a few small Air Force units scatered around Kyushu, but not a large presence of any military branches other than Navy. The wikipedia page has a pretty good summary of where each facility is, but feel free to check around other sites as well. Wikipedia certainly may not be 100% up to date... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Forces_Japan

Bertie, your statement about relocating the US military seemed to imply that there was not a US Military presence near Osaka or Tokyo, but there already is (depending on if you consider Iwakuni close to Osaka or not)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Can someone find stastics to post as to HOW MANY Drunk Drivers were arrested in Okinawa during the past 7 or 30 days, that resulted in a Crash, committed by Japanese / Okinawans ? THEN you can keep reporting this garbage as if it is some kind of PLAGUE ravishing the Island of Okinawa, by Military people. Thank you in advance.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Six times the legal limit in Japan is still lower than the typical US (.08 according to Wiki). In the US he would not be considered drunk driving. Of course you need to follow the laws in the country you are in, but it is good to recognize this perspective. DUI here is not actually intoxicated for typical Americans. Curious what actually caused the accident... no mention, just blame the American... too much of that...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Erik RickFeb. 12, 2013 - 12:47PM JST Frungy, I have to correct your statement about the bases on Kyushu. Fleet Activities Sasebo is a sizable Naval base. There is a few small Air Force units scatered around Kyushu, but not a large presence of any military branches other than Navy.

I made no statement about the relative sizes of the bases, so no correction is necessary on my part. If you read the wiki page you provided you'd notice something interesting, the total number of marines and air force aren't massively different (Marines - 17,009 at 17 bases; Air force - 12,389 at 20 bases). The air force are more spread out and there are fewer Air force personnel, but even accounting for the differences in numbers there haven't been any major incidents involving Air force personnel in the last decade... while the Marines seem to rack up a rape, assault or other major incident at least once a year.

Yes, there is media bias in reporting the small stuff, but incidents like rapes, assaults, breaking and entry, etc are going to get into the newspapers in Japan regardless of who does them, so it seems like the Air Force just has better discipline than the Marines. Ship the Marines back home and put the Air force in those bases and relations will improve rapidly.

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Frungy there are 3 large bases in the Tokyo area already and servicemen have been "let loose" into Roppongi for many years with the world not coming to an end. Seriously the way some of you talk you act or think that US service people are mindless barbarians out to loot rape and pillage. Why don't you look beyond your prejudice and be objective thinkers for once.

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It could be because Okinawans hate the marines and blow every incident out of proportion.... or it could be that the bases on Kyushu are air force, not navy, and thus are better behaved

Frungy, It was the comment above that threw me off. It seems to equate Marines with Navy, and while all Marines are Department of the Navy, not all Navy (including almost every DoN person on Kyushu) are not Marines.

As for the Air Force not having any major incidents within the last deckade... It certainly depends on how you define major... I am quite certain someone else can share some major or nearly major incidents that have happened by Airmen, but that is not really the direction I want to go.

As for the idea of replacing the Marines with the Air Force... The Air Force and Marines have different missions and capabilities. You can't just swap out service members like car parts and have the system still run right... They are Marines with years (in some cases decades) of specialized training. As such it would take years (in some cases decades) to train enough Air Force personel to perform the missions the Marines do.

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So, how about relocating them in somewhere more interesting, like Tokyo or Osaka? Then the number of incidents involving US servicemen would REALLY soar!

They are in Tokyo (suburb). In Osaka, the servicemen would be the ones complaining about locals... Remember Hashimoto invited them and they refused. LOL.

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The US must clearly prohibit alchohol consumption by service members and their dependents while stationed on Japanese soil. The curfefw is not working. All forces here should be alchohol free until their tour of duty is up. Alchohol was a factor in what, 100 percent of the cases. The command he is assigned to should be placed on restriction kind of like a safety standown to review ways to be better ambassadors of the United States of America. I was in the Navy in the 1980s and certaintly the military of today has some discipline and leadership deficits.

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It could be because Okinawans hate the marines

I think it's simply the "density". That makes really a lot of foreign military for the small population of these islands. Overdose. Then these Okinawans have their existential problems as nobody never asked them. I think Japan and US army should ask them officially. Make all residents (not military) of Okinawa vote. And whatever the result, stick to it.

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If you drink don't drive and if you drive don't drink.

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If you drink don't drive and if you drive don't drink.

Way to difficult to remember for some!

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@PeaceWarrior

Especially after a couple of beers....

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41 year old officer should know better - strip him of everything and throw him in the slammer - old age dangerous stupidity is a severe sin and should be punished accordingly

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Matthew SimonFeb. 12, 2013 - 02:28PM JST Frungy there are 3 large bases in the Tokyo area already and servicemen have been "let loose" into Roppongi for many years with the world not coming to an end. Seriously the way some of you talk you act or think that US service people are mindless barbarians out to loot rape and pillage. Why don't you look beyond your prejudice and be objective thinkers for once.

Number of Marine corps bases in Tokyo: 0. Number of Navy bases in Tokyo: 1. Number of Army bases in Tokyo:; 1. Number of Air Force bases in Tokyo: 4. Number of Incidents in the media in the last few years in Tokyo: 0.

Do the math. The problem is clearly Marines.

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Someone said he was an E-8 which is not an officer. Any way to find out for sure? Not that it makes much difference but I'd like to know. Unfortunate.

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Frungy what is the title of this article? This isn't even about a Marine, nor have the majority of these stories the past year. Check your facts.

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Psyops-san,

Very likely they are also in puppet country you call home

Why do you think I don't live there any more?

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Why do you think I don't live there any more?

You moved in order to live close to US army bases. Unless you moved there before 1945...

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Matthew SimonFeb. 12, 2013 - 07:59PM JST Frungy what is the title of this article? This isn't even about a Marine, nor have the majority of these stories the past year. Check your facts.

In May 2003, a US marine in Okinawa raped a woman, resulting in extensive injuries. In July 2005, a US airman in Okinawa indecently assaulted an elementary school girl. In February 2008, a US marine was suspected in the assault a junior high school girl.

Face it, Marines account for most of the serious incidents.

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Yup Eric Simmons! Air Force Smsgt/E8 works at the 44th fighter squadron on kadena. wow what a waste of skin, Okinawa is already jacked up as it is with all these Incidents relating to the military. This clown was only a couple years from retirement too!

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Well to be honest the oki's should be grateful; they'd be begging for the US presence on Okinawa if it was the Australian Or British air forces stationed on the island. You'd see a 100% skyrocket in crime, not to mention racially motivated and alcoholic related incidents. Just ask the poor Malaysian residents on the island of Penang where Butterwoth airbase is.

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Frungy read your second example again, seems to me that it says airman not marine, also in 2008 a sailor murdered a taxi driver again not a marine. The point being the load of misbehavior is across the board not exclusive to one branch and has also been pointed out several times in several other articles these crime averages are way below the number of non military.

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@ BertieWooster - ah then shoganai ne, but your wishes of kicking the US off Japan will never happen. But its nice to wish. I'm going to guess you might need to move from Japan soon. I can help, Africa is a great place for you :D I am guessing it will be American free for a few more years so thats your best bet. No need to thank me, I'm glad I can help build your plans for the future. :D cheers

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Psyops,

As you say, there is a distinct absence of ginger (shoga nai).

I certainly do not have the strength to kick the US off Japan or even out of Okinawa. However, Okinawans may have. They really are quite determined, you know. They don't hate Americans, they just want their own land. And, of course, they dislike having to give up so much of it to foreign bases and having to put up with the stupid accidents, drunkenness and other antisocial behaviour like the above, from the guys who inhabit them.

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@Bertie- I challenge you to put up hard numbers (military population vs. Okinawan population, military incidents vs Okinawan incidents of the same magnitude) or put up your pitch fork and torch.

You obviuosly hate the U.S. regardless of what you claim, but offer no solid facts. But, the topic is about a drunk driving incident involving a senior enlisted USAF guy. I got a little more info; he already has 23 years in so most likely he'll catch a small amount of punishment (military) and then be allowed to retire. Not to say what the Japanese authorities will do with him.

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Little Boots,

I think I know whom I hate and whom I don't hate. I do not hate the U.S.A. I have many friends and several relatives who have US citizenship. I hate military aggression, bullying and exploitation from any country. And I know that my own country also has a very bad track record of this.

It is not necessary to list how many US military incidents vs incidents caused by Okinawan residents, for the simple reason that EVEN IF there were only 10 incidents caused by US military personnel stationed in Okinawa, the total number of incidents would be 10 LESS.

But, this is not the only reason for wanting the US bases reduced or off the island completely.

Here is a very fair and factual analysis.

It's long, so I'm just posting a link to it.

http://www.jpri.org/publications/workingpapers/wp28.html#Taira

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Bertie, your borderline xenophobic stance has nothing to do with this incident. Notice that the other three dozen reports of drunk driving that week were not mentioned, so there's no reason to say that this is an anomaly in the okinawan islands for any group. If the bases closed down and the "10%" of the economy is thrown out the window (which it's actually far higher, likely in the 30-50% range after including the entire economic cycle), crime will increase far more simply due to poverty increases.

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basroil,

Your opinion on the financial repercussions of a US withdrawal from Okinawa and that Koji Taira of the Japan Political Research Institute and the Mayor of Naha are wildly different. If you read the link in my above post, you might understand.

As for the drunk driver who caused the accident that is the subject under discussion here. I would just like to reiterate my statement. It doesn't matter how many cases of drunk driving were committed by local people in Okinawa. The total number of accidents would be less if the bases were closed.

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Matthew SimonFeb. 13, 2013 - 09:04AM JST Frungy read your second example again, seems to me that it says airman not marine, also in 2008 a sailor murdered a taxi driver again not a marine. The point being the load of misbehavior is across the board not exclusive to one branch and has also been pointed out several times in several other articles these crime averages are way below the number of non military.

Learn to read, I wrote that marines accounted for "most" of the incidents. I cited 3 incidents by marines, you cited one incident by an airman, and one incident from the army. There are slightly more marines than airmen but not a lot. The simple fact is that marines account for a disproportionately large number of incidents.

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So this guy, 41 years old, driving drunk and to work?? Yup, sound real smart! Hope they lock him up, strip away his rank, make a fine example out of him or her, let the other wise guys there in the bases understand, the US gov. and the Japanese gov. are sick and tired of this kind of crap! Idiot!

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Math is not a strong point with too many people it seems. Japan has a "zero tolerance" policy. Not a good name, in this world with people not so good at math. There is always some alcohol in your blood naturally, and zero tolerance would make us all drunk drivers.

So okay, its not a zero tolerance. Its a very tiny amount of tolerance. Okay, so imagine that your friend is carrying a weight of .5 grams. You are carrying a weight of 3 grams. You are carrying six times the weight of your friend. Are you superman? No. And driving with six times the legal amount of alcohol in your blood with a near zero policy does not make one super drunk. It even casts a doubt on "buzzing".

Next, the breathalyzer test. Its only the most inaccurate test of BAC imaginable. Its useful as a screening test and that is about it. If its not followed up with a blood test, then its about sensible as summary execution.

Last, last time I got my DL, I was looking at a pie graph of accident causes. DWI was not on the list. I asked why. The instructor replied that the percentage was so small it was included under "other". So why does everyone go ape if a man had a beer or two and drove? I see people driving every day who I am sure are not drunk but I consider to be more of a danger than your average America soldier who had a beer. Statistics bear me out. Yet, the only detail about the accident is the alcohol. So its assumed to be the cause. But I don't expect logic and facts to beat years of indoctrination by MADD commercials. It never does.

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Some information for those who do not know anything about Japan, or live here but are clueless; if you get arrested by the J cops for driving with ALCOHOL in your blood, I do not remember the % but it is very, very LOW, you get fined 300,000 YEN per person! Yes, you jump in a car, and the driver has had a few beers, you are just a simple friend, passenger, guess what?? You also get fined 300,000 YEN, so some people here like MATH, say there are 4 blokes, or 2 blokes and 2 ladies, 4 humans, then your friends gotta pay up 1,200,000 YEN, this is NO JOKE! Kampai?? Heck no!! Take a taxi or walk!

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Well, shucks. 14 years in this land and I had no idea about the fining system..well, colour me clueless..or just not interested because I nor any of my friends drink and drive..ever. I prefer the label of Not Applicable.

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