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U.S. military says restrictions are to respect Okinawan murder victim's family

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Interesting way of putting this, the month coincides closely with the the 49 day period of mourning that is traditionally followed here in Okinawa.

Classy move, but I bet the meaning gets lost in the noise of protest.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The 30,000 U.S. troops will not be allowed to drink alcohol off-base, and visiting clubs and bars is prohibited.

The ironic part is that the murderer was not one of the US troops, but a civilian base worker. Funny that while the troops, who did nothing at all wrong, will not be able to drink or go to clubs, but the civilian base workers can do as they did before. It hardly seems fair, does it?

The commander may say that the restriction is not a punishment, and is a form of "mourning", but the 30,000 troops will see it as nothing but an undeserved punishment. And they are right.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

its mostly just a symbolic gesture, but it sends the message if 1 messes up all will pay and the payment is the "suck" so if its sucks bad enough, they will police each other

They been doing it for years

welcome to the military )

Its interesting that they are applying this towards civilians as well

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think the commander had no choice but to impose a new restriction on this tragedy. Since it was televised all over Japan that the civilian worker was a former Marine, it's obvious in the eyes of the Okinawan citizens that this guy is still considered military. At least they can still drink on base, and he didn't make them go totally dry for several weeks.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think its time for the marines to just leave and return the land to the Okinawans (instead of japanese). They have obviously done far more here then good. Maybe its time to end Americas unnecessary military interventions.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

I think its time for the marines to just leave and return the land to the Okinawans (instead of japanese).

Please enlighten everyone here, how will you differentiate between the two? And that is a serious question as well.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Just leave Okinawa. Go to Guam.

Now, that's what we call respect for the family and the Ryukyuan people.

Or go to Tokyo. Abe and Suga will welcome US bases there .

0 ( +6 / -6 )

sangetsu03MAY. 28, 2016 - 03:26PM JST The ironic part is that the murderer was not one of the US troops, but a civilian base worker. Funny that while the troops, who did nothing at all wrong, will not be able to drink or go to clubs, but the civilian base workers can do as they did before. It hardly seems fair, does it?...The commander may say that the restriction is not a punishment, and is a form of "mourning", but the 30,000 troops will see it as nothing but an undeserved punishment. And they are right.

Interesting comment. I would say the more ironic part is that American politicians are always talking about our soldiers like they are the greatest in the world, yet if you're correct in how you claim they see things, then it means they utterly distrust the words of their commanding officer.

If these soldiers are so undisciplined that they can't go without off-base parties and booze for a mere month and a half, if they're so selfish and short-sighted that they can't even make a token gesture of solidarity with the Okinawan people, it's hard to accept the claim that they're the best soldiers in the world. When keeping Okinawans happy enough to permit their base to remain in Okinawa so they can complete their primary mission is, as you suggest, beyond them, they don't sound like they would be fit to protect Japan. They wouldn't even be fit to serve our country.

I hope your assessment of them as petulant children is wrong, for the sake of everyone involved.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

U.S. military says restrictions are to respect Okinawan murder victim's family

I hate to say this, but I fail to see the logic in this.

Unless, of course, the US military feels responsible.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

these soldiers are so undisciplined that they can't go without off-base parties and booze for a mere month and a half, if they're so selfish and short-sighted that they can't even make a token gesture of solidarity with the Okinawan people

you got to remember that allot of these people are separated from their family or spouses, and living with people they might not really want to. Now, thats the reality of the US military, and they signed up for that, but the family dynamic and chasing that dream has become so much a part of the lifestyle, that its created many new issues. For example the E3 is living in the barracks and sees the E4 get married and escape the barracks. No more room mate, cleanings, duties etc for the E4 and he is a "civilian" who lives off base until morning PT or duty So the E3 catches on to this and gets married too soon, and now has an excuse to drink because he is "missing" his spouse ( or these days could be his partner)

So you have an enviroment thats not conductive to cohesion but instead promotes selfish wants and desires.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

5petalsMAY. 28, 2016 - 07:02PM JST you got to remember that allot of these people are separated from their family or spouses, and living with people they might not really want to...

I'm afraid I don't follow how your comment relates to anything I said. Care to explain the connection?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The guy was not on active duty. He was not hired by the base, so why take it out on the base personnel? Out of respect? LMAO and their way of thinking.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

He was not hired by the base, so why take it out on the base personnel?

First off everyone here is stuck on the most recent incident of the civilian who murdered the Japanese woman. BUT people are forgetting here that there is a trial currently underway, for a sailor, from Camp Schwab, notice sailor NOT Marine, to all those that are bitching about the USMC, even the prefectural assembly, for the rape of a woman from mainland in a hotel in Naha a couple of months back.

That is something the General and other military commanders are taking into consideration as well. There were two, very serious crimes committed by "base" related personnel within a rather short period of time, and a period of mourning is not asking too much either. Does not mean they can't drink, just not off base. So, sorry, but when one joins the military they have to accept that it is NOT a democracy, by the nature of the business.

THe General, in his press conference, came across as being very sincere in his desire to improve relations with Okinawa and it's people. He even went so far as to ask to meet with community leaders to find ways to improve the relationship between the two, and also called Onaga and requested to meet with him as well in the hopes of moving forward and working closer together as they can.

I give the general credit for finding a way to make a gesture of faith to the Okinawan people and hopefully it will be seen as being sincere, and hopefully no one abuses it either.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

From what I can see, most people here just fail to see the point of this move.

Fact is, there is no difference between civilian base worker and military. American IS American. That's why the military feels responsible for it. And that's what, if the U.S. military has to leave, the U.S. civilian base workers have to leave as well. And that would be best for all!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@katsu

following your logic that base people are so spoiled they cant even go without a drink for a week or more.....

My point is they have "stressors" that you and I dont have. They are separated from their loved ones, so it adds quite a bit of complexity to the issue. Members are getting married and leaving the bases for off post living arrangements. The problem for them is when they deploy overseas, if their wife etc stays behind, they are now separated for a year or more. Well, thats part of military life, but some may think that family is priority.

-5 ( +0 / -4 )

Fact is, there is no difference between civilian base worker and military. American IS American.

Really? What about the Japanese base workers? Are they now suddenly American too?

That's why the military feels responsible for it. And that's what, if the U.S. military has to leave, the U.S. civilian base workers have to leave as well. And that would be best for all!

SO if we follow your logic then the Japanese base workers have to leave too, where will they go? Oh and btw there are more Japanese base workers, civilian, than American, civilian, workers. .....Go figure huh?

How convenient you and others choose to forget that there are literally thousands of Japanese base workers and not all of them are angels either.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This period of mourning is for ALL MILITARY AND SOFA STATUS FOLKS.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Yubaru: Re-read my post. I said Americans should leave, not Japanese. Not all of the Japanese base workers are angels, but there are more potential devils among the Americans, even if they pose the minority in relativity to the Japanese base workers. You protect the wrong side.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

5petalsMAY. 28, 2016 - 09:53PM JST following your logic that base people are so spoiled they cant even go without a drink for a week or more....My point is they have "stressors" that you and I dont have. They are separated from their loved ones, so it adds quite a bit of complexity to the issue

Funny, I don't live with my family. Nearly every eikaiwa teacher and ALT who comes here comes without their family. Across the US millions of 18 year olds leave their families to go to university, and yet somehow the vast majority of them are able to make it 6 weeks without night clubs, booze, and fireworks. I mean, sure, if these were soldiers stationed in Afghanistan then I'd expect them to need some way to blow off stream- they are actually in danger there. For soldiers stationed in Japan, the worst danger they're likely to face is some local might make an unkind stereotype about them. They even have the creature comforts of restaurants and groceries from home that a teacher dispatched to inaka wouldn't have. Surely they have a thick enough skin to withstand that for 6 weeks without drinking. Or do you think the US military aren't made of as stern of stuff as a typical eikaiwa teacher?

Incidentally, it's not my logic that soldiers are spoiled. I simply showed that sangetsu's logic, taken to its reasonable conclusion, would suggest the soldiers are spoiled. Me, I have every confidence that they don't need to wear diapers, don't need a nanny, and don't need a bottle to make it through six weeks of peace time.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Just remove the bases from Okinawa. No bases, no deaths.

3 ( +4 / -2 )

5petals,

My point is they have "stressors" that you and I dont have. They are separated from their loved ones, so it adds quite a bit of complexity to the issue.

Aw. My heart bleeds.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I don't know if people realize this, or not, but this weekend is the Memorial Day Holiday weekend in the USA, so it's a time of celebrating veterans, past and present, those who died and survived, and the armed forces in general. Typically there are parades, fireworks, BBQs, concerts, etc. It's kind of a big deal, especially for the military. A restriction will impart a notable pall on base personnel, I suspect. This wasn't noted in the article, as far as I could tell.

FYI, Memorial Day was originally on behalf of American Civil War veterans, and remembrance of those who perished in that war.

In my opinion, it should be an opportunity for us to remember, honor, and mourn all who perished in our collective tragic history of war - as well as those who've been tragic victims of the machinery of war.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Remove the bases, and send all the American personnel home. Oh, I forgot about all the Japanese workers on these bases that will be without a job. I'm sure they will be able to find jobs elsewhere.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Oh, I forgot about all the Japanese workers on these bases that will be without a job.

If Americans are kept just to ensure Japanese having jobs, then I'm sure nobody would raise a voice against it. Jobs can be created, jobs can be found somewhere else. There are always ways to survive.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

re: If Americans are kept just to ensure Japanese having jobs, then I'm sure nobody would raise a voice against it. Jobs can be created, jobs can be found somewhere else.

Really, then tell that to the kids that you will pay for their school, supplies, food and future educational needs, not counting those and by the way what about the many who will have to be forced to take bar jobs to help make ends meet, so that Japanese men will put their paws all over the younger daughters and mothers, to make ends meet, that is what you considers surviving, because a job at a convenience store or farm will not make the ends meet..much less a monthly stipend.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@shinichi_takeda: I agree with you, its time for the marines to respect democracy and just leave. I can't believe that my country still treats believes in treating others with pure impunity.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There is a lot said about "community" but I see little talk about the 4 families hurt by this crime.

Kenneth Shinzato has a wife and a child = what type of support will they need.

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2016/05/25/22/346684C600000578-3609475-Her_body_was_found_when_Kenneth_Shinzato_32_a_civilian_worker_at-a-49_1464212209682.jpg

-Rina Shimabukuro and her boyfriends family.

These foolish crimes really become a long-term tragedy.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Please enlighten everyone here, how will you differentiate between the two? And that is a serious question as well.

Well, US Marines don't look like your average Okinawan. So it's easy to distinguish. (I know you meant between Okinawans and Japanese, but the Yamatos aren't the problem in Okinawa right now).

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Tell me why a very limited number of crimes would show anything about Americans being barbarians. The Japanese always play the victim cards. So little rationality. Country where people are the most unhappy at work. So little to live. That raper is a murderer. He is the only one guilty in the world. Democracy gives individual rights. I din't consider myself living like an ant and need to endure collectively. Which kills all will to surpass oneself.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I believe that all Japanese should show a lot of respect to USA. USA not only treated them nicely after they lost the WWII, it allowed for rapid economic development by opening its markets to Japan and protecting it all this time against any threat of retaliation by Russia, China, ... The life of Japan has depended on US friendship including the life of its emperor and the voluntary return of Okinawa islands. Never forget these.

-5 ( +1 / -5 )

Well, US Marines don't look like your average Okinawan. So it's easy to distinguish. (I know you meant between Okinawans and Japanese, but the Yamatos aren't the problem in Okinawa right now).

Actually yes they are the problem, they are the one's that are financing and stirring the pot. How convenient that everyone puts the blame on the base, when it's and individual and not the collective that is the problem here.

Right...the collective....brand one as being a bad apple, then they all are. typical Japanese logic at work here.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Xeno23MAY. 29, 2016 - 12:47AM JST I don't know if people realize this, or not, but this weekend is the Memorial Day Holiday weekend in the USA, so it's a time of celebrating veterans, past and present, those who died and survived, and the armed forces in general. Typically there are parades, fireworks, BBQs, concerts, etc. It's kind of a big deal, especially for the military. A restriction will impart a notable pall on base personnel, I suspect.

In other deployments, US soldiers spent their Memorial Day weekends getting shot at and dodging IEDs, not to mention their Christmases and New Years and Thanksgivings and every other holiday. They do it without throwing a tantrum because completing the mission is more important than having a party. It's unfortunate if Okinawan soldiers have to go without a holiday one year, but keeping Okinawans tolerant of our bases there is part of their mission.

nedinjapanMAY. 29, 2016 - 07:30AM JST I believe that all Japanese should show a lot of respect to USA. USA not only treated them nicely after they lost the WWII, it allowed for rapid economic development by opening its markets to Japan and protecting it all this time against any threat of retaliation by Russia, China, ... The life of Japan has depended on US friendship including the life of its emperor and the voluntary return of Okinawa islands. Never forget these.

A few Americans rape and murder Japanese. "OMG you can't blame us all for that! How dare you stereotype us!"

A few Americans make strategic decisions that end up being profitable for Japan. "OMG you had better give us all credit for that! We demand you stereotype us!"

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yubaru MAY. 29, 2016 - 07:48AM JST How convenient that everyone puts the blame on the base, when it's and individual and not the collective that is the problem here.

What does GI stand for? Government issued? U.S. Government has total control everyday until ETS. You give up your rights as individual if you work for the government.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

“My request to the Okinawa people is simple: please do not allow this terrible act of violence to drive a wedge between our two communities,” he said.

This 4-star clown ought to know the wedge has been there for a very long time.

Funny how the 4-star clowns are never charged with their crimes. Remember that high-ranking Navy officer was playing with his submarine and wrecked that Japanese fishing vessel -Ehime Maru??

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@katsu78 I never said the murderer should not be punished. He should. But this is not something to be used as an excuse to put pressure on US government. If Okinawans have a problem with so many US soldiers, they had better resolve it with their central government. To blame the US for all the kindness and tolerance they have shown to Japan, is wrong. If Trump comes and leaves Japan with its own plan of self defense, you will realize how safe it will be.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

nedinjapan MAY. 29, 2016 - 09:39AM JST If Okinawans have a problem with so many US soldiers, they had better resolve it with their central government.

What could the central government in Tokyo do? Nothing. Reality is that U.S. has total control of Okinawa. if you remember about six years ago, PM Hatoyama tried to revise the U.S. Japan treaty in Okinawa. He didn't last very long.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What does GI stand for? Government issued? U.S. Government has total control everyday until ETS. You give up your rights as individual if you work for the government.

Ahem....civilians are not GI's and GI is a euphemism from WWII. It is not an "official" term, and while the military folks are 24/7, civilians are not, so do not even try to make the two the same, and NO they definitely do not give up rights as an individual when they work for the government. Totally wrong on your part here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

YubaruMAY. 29, 2016 - 10:56AM JSTand NO they definitely do not give up rights as an individual when they work for the government. Totally wrong on your part here.

Then why don't you tell these U.S. civilian workers to go out to the bar and drink and see what happens? If they want to keep the job, these civilian workers are giving up the rights to drink outside of the house. Same as the military personnel.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Funny, I don't live with my family. Nearly every eikaiwa teacher and ALT who comes here comes without their family. Across the US millions of 18 year olds leave their families to go to university, and yet somehow the vast majority of them are able to make it 6 weeks without night clubs, booze, and fireworks

True, and they are still throwing every creature comfort at them and many are still not happy. You did miss the mark a bit, however, comparing Eikawia to military life

For example, a single Eikawia teacher is free to do whatever they please. A Marine E3 for example, is under multiple layers for control, from the next rank of E4 all the way up to O 6 or above. They need permission to get married and to leave the country to travel. The length of all facial hair is highly regulated. Uniforms are to be meticulously cleaned and pressed. Rooms cleaned in ways I cannot describe. If any discrepancy is found, liberty is secured and start the fun all over again. Plus you got all kinds of collateral duties like parades etc. Go do that in 90 deg Okinawa heat in uniform, and youll be day dreaming of teaching some Japanese English. Its not like they just wake up, put on what they want, and go teach a class then sing karaoke with locals or party. Ive only gave you a small window into that life, and the stress can be pretty high so many get married to escape it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

US Civilians who work on the bases with SOFA Status have the same protections under SOFA that the Military members have so they should be able to be placed under the same restrictions. Why does the US Military allow thousands of civilians to live and work on Okinawa and protect them under SOFA if they cannot control them?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@japan4life they recently came under a new act (I forget the name of the act, there was a poster here, his name escapes me, seems to be a SME on things Legal speak on Okinawa) so they can be prosecuted in the states for crimes in Japan. Before, they could get away with allot because there really wasnt anything anybody could do

Also, katsu, you have to remember, the eikawa teacher isnt ordered to Japan but the E3 is. Many could care less about Japan, but are ordered to leave their family etc, because thats what they signed up for. A commandant once proposed all Marnes be at least and E5 before getting married but the touchie feelies in Congress said it was inhumane and he got in trouble for it, just like the admiral that suggested prostitution be made available, he was relived of duty

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So ALL Okinawans are mourning the late Ms Shimabukuro?? And even though the suspect was not drunk at the time all responsible adults can't stay out past midnight and can't drink alcohol!? Yea, makes perfect sense.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

GI is short for General Issue, in short the average clothing and equipment a 'Joe' Soldier or Infantryman needs.

I. Germany they call it 08/15.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If they want to keep the job, these civilian workers are giving up the rights to drink outside of the house. Same as the military personnel.

NO...this is not accurate, the general asked them to show respect. He does not control their off base activities.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I think Japan4life is right because SOFA provided, as I recall, a provision for the evacuation of US personal.

You get into non appropriated vs appropriated and local vs stateside, but its outside my expertise, let the SMEs who do that for a living comment

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's intolerable US civilian base workers are given same protections as US military personnel but do not have to adhere to the same restrictions.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

5petalsMAY. 29, 2016 - 11:25AM JST For example, a single Eikawia teacher is free to do whatever they please. A Marine E3 for example, is under multiple layers for control, from the next rank of E4 all the way up to O 6 or above. They need permission to get married and to leave the country to travel. The length of all facial hair is highly regulated. Uniforms are to be meticulously cleaned and pressed...

None of which amounts to beans when it comes to justifying the apparent "need" for Okinawan military to party down every weekend for two simple reasons-

First, the US does not have a draft. Every soldier in Okinawa knew what they were getting into before they signed up. It was their choice, and they chose that life.

Second, because US soldiers in real war zones nobly serve their country under far worse conditions without needing to party down every weekend. You think troops stationed in Fallujah couldn't go six weeks without a trip to a dance club or threw a fit because they weren't allowed to set off fireworks?

I remain confident that US soldiers in Okinawa are far tougher and far more professional than how the people who keep trying to defend them keep portraying them. But anyone who isn't, anyone who thinks the oh-so terrible circumstances of working in one of the safest countries in the world require weekly boozing in nightclubs while real soldiers suffer and sacrifice around the world in far less comfort- anyone who thinks that isn't actually serving their country, and therefore isn't fit for service.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

5petals,

A Marine E3 for example, is under multiple layers for control, from the next rank of E4 all the way up to O 6 or above. They need permission to get married and to leave the country to travel. The length of all facial hair is highly regulated. Uniforms are to be meticulously cleaned and pressed. Rooms cleaned in ways I cannot describe. If any discrepancy is found, liberty is secured and start the fun all over again. Plus you got all kinds of collateral duties like parades etc. Go do that in 90 deg Okinawa heat in uniform, and youll be day dreaming of teaching some Japanese English. Its not like they just wake up, put on what they want, and go teach a class then sing karaoke with locals or party. Ive only gave you a small window into that life, and the stress can be pretty high so many get married to escape it.

Gosh. It's no wonder some of them go a bit funny!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

First of all you have to have the military presence in Okinawa. Especially now, Japan is very vulnerable. What sucks is you put a bunch of 18 and 19 year old kids from all over the United States in Okinawa. Some from NYC, Los Angeles, Deep Country Side etc... They work very hard as the military does not pay by the hour. The problem is they want to play hard and compete to show their asses. Sometimes this is normal annoying drunk behavior. Sometimes this turns into drunk behavior with a little damage to property. Sometimes this turns into yelling obscenities at the Japanese Men or Women. However, many times this leads to friendships in the Japanese community. One of the things that hurts Okinawa most is when you get that soldier assigned to Okinawa and he does not have a bad bone in his body. All he wants to do is train and take in the Japanese culture. This person will be in Okinawa for two years and wants to get lost in your culture in his off time and be accepted and then he is not. There are many good soldiers treated like shit. I know why. You have the soldiers that kill and rape your daughters. Their punishment does not even come close to fitting the crime. RIDICULOUS!!!! So how do we fix this to make everyone happy? I have the answer, but no one listens to me. I am very sorry to all the victims that have been raped in Japan. May the ones Rest In Peace that were killed and their families do their best to get through this!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@katsu,

you are correct, to some extent, but the amenities and so forth are not really what they seem. Its just sort of an escape, or "thanks for your service" effort. You have to do it yourself to understand it, and there really isnt anything else like it, its service or goverment work. The USMC operates at a different tempo than the other branches, and its considered an institution as well so they have many traditions etc that dont always make sense to outsiders. Doesnt mean they are better at all things than the other services, but they dont have the luxuries the others do. Now, for civilians who live there, they are free to do as they want and have no excuse to get into trouble. We never "partied" like a civilian does, it was more like a "reset" for the next day of games. So you mix that dynamic with the locals, well you can see it might not always jive so well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The guy that raped and killed that girl works for a Japanese company and running around with an okinawan name how do we know if he became a Japanese citizen rather way Japanese need to hang him.he married to an okinawan woman and they have a kid he should have been home with his family and not out look for another woman

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's intolerable US civilian base workers are given same protections as US military personnel but do not have to adhere to the same restrictions.

Intolerable? Do you realize what you are talking about? If you have a complain, along with anyone else as well, take it up with the Japanese government. They negotiated the SOFA agreement, they have discussed revisiting the issue and renegotiating it but it is a very,very, very, low priority to this government.

Deliver your intolerance to the right footsteps, and don't blame the people benefiting from it either, that would be ludicrous.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

SOFA is to protect for legal issues and to make it easier for civilians to go in and out of Japan. Nothing else. SOFA for military is different. The military personnel are on orders. Different ball game.

When I worked for the DOD, I had a Red Passport, SOFA status, and was never restricted from going off base. Military were.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

SOFA is to protect for legal issues and to make it easier for civilians to go in and out of Japan. Nothing else.

Nothing else? Hardly, it also gives them access to base facilities that no one else, besides military and or authorized guests can use.

For someone living on the economy in Japan, those buying privileges that the SOFA also gives them, makes it attractive to take a base job for many. Without it many would have to purchase everything on the local economy and their living costs would be outrageous. A gallon of gas on base costs something like $2.20 a gallon, off base depending upon the location between 110 to 120 per liter, do the math, and there are other things too.

It's more than just not needing a visa status in Japan, much more.

0 ( +0 / -1 )

wow. respect, US armed forces in Okinawa...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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