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Bullet found lodged in car license plate near Marine base in Okinawa

20 Comments

A bullet was found lodged in a car license plate on Saturday night, and police are investigating if the bullet came from live firing exercises at nearby U.S. Marine base Camp Hansen last Wednesday.

The owner of the car told police he was outside watering the plants in his garden last Wednesday, when he heard loud noises and saw smoke in the air at the nearby training range, and also said he could hear training drills.

The bullet was about 4.5 centimeters in length and appears to have come from a rifle. Police are having the bullet examined.

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Shouldn't the police also be investigating to see if this has come from an armed Okinawan? I take it if this bullet came from an Okinawan's gun then it wouldn't be a story, instead of the 2nd most important story in the National News section?

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I remember in Hokkaido the SDF accidently fired artillery shells out into the town

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thepro - that doesn't matter, and surely doesn't need to be mentioned in the news! Now a bullet from a foreign gun going astray... that is a very different matter!

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Shouldn't the police also be investigating to see if this has come from an armed Okinawan?

Actually, they probably did ask shopkeepers or residents some questions. Just because this short report does not mention that does not mean it did not happen. But if there were no reports of an armed Okinawan firing a single shot into a car, I am not sure why or how they would investigate such a thing.

I think some of you need to get your persecution complexes in order. There are some shifty things that go on, but this ain't it. It is possible that someone took advantage of the time and place to shoot his gun into a car, but its also very, very unlikely. No one in his right mind would go that direction unless prompted to by an eyewitness or some other piece of evidence, like finding out this type of bullet was not used that day at the base, something they need to investigate the base to find out.

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Sounds like a 7.62mm or .308 round rather than a 5.56mm or .223. If it was a 7.62mm round simply "lodging" in the license plate could mean it came from well over a mile away, as most of its energy was likely spent - otherwise, a round like that would go through the license plate. Also, if it wasn't deformed on impact that could also indicate it was mostly spent.

So how does it get lodged in a car's license plate, given where license plates are? If it was from a flat trajectory, that would mean there was nothing between the firing station and where this car was parked, meaning no backstop; nothing. Perhaps it was a ballistic trajectory from an accidental discharge; that could explain the lack of energy on impact.

How nearby is that range? Is it likely that the backstop of the range is in direct line with residential areas? Typically, these kinds of ranges are up to 600 yards long, dug in somewhat below ground level with high berms of dirt at the end as backstop, pointed in a direction away from populations.

Presumably too, there are fences and whatnot between the firing range and populations. So, did this bullet go through a fence? A chain link fence wouldn't do much to the bullet, but anything more solid would deform the bullet and alter the trajectory; that could also reduce the bullet's energy - but the fence still couldn't be much more solid than corrugated plastic or tin, otherwise the bullet would be rather deformed.

If this came from the military base, then it was likely an accidental discharge, not aimed, going off in some direction other than down range. It took a rather high ballsitic trajectory, up, over, and out of the military base, then down to lodge where it ended up - quite some distance away.

Shooting a round like this into the car at close range (less than 50 yards) is unlikely; it would not "lodge" in the license plate; it would go through it, and go into the car itself. One could, however, with a hammer, tap it into place ^_^ since bullets are themselves inert; it's the cartridges that contain the charge.

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Why are the US army shooting at cars?

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Xeno23- LOL........

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likeitis - Do you remember the case a few years back when an Okinawan farmer near a training range was complaining that he found a 50 calibre shell in his field. There was a huge outcry about how dangerous the US military was. The military did testing on every 50 calibre barrel (sp?) on their bases in Okinawa. When they determined that it hadn't come from their rifles the farmer admitted that he'd bought the shell at an army surplus store in Okinawa, and then had claimed it had been fired into his field.

The last part of the story wasn't reported so widely, as you can probably imagine.

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Anyway, I'm guessing we'll never hear teh final word on this story. That bullet might as well have come from the space station for all we'll ever know.

Was the car a Toyota or Nissan or etc.? Could be a plot by GM & Co. Get the US Army to bail them out...

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I suspect that it was hammered into the license plate by an instigator.

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It seems that Okinawans are not happy unless they have some to complain about the US bases. In fact, there is money available for compensation in cases where SOFA personnel or incidents are involved. But the sad story is that similar situations not related to the bases would never make it to the Mainland Japanese newspapers. Every case of embelezment in the Mainland shows up in the Japanese media. But I never see any of the cases from Okinawa appear in Japanese TV or newspapers. News are too partial and one-sided.

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If it's fron the space station I'm sure we'll know about it. I'm sure some tabloid-headline along the lines of "US warhead from space strikes Okinawa vehicle" would be forthcoming.

The fact that Okinawan police are "examining" the bullet just makes me smile. Okinawan CSI standing around looking at the bullet going, "sou desu neeeee".

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Japanese news reports claim there are some incidents of stray bullets landing outside the fence from time to time, and that the night exercises are so noisy it makes it impossible for area residents to sleep.

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Stray bullet or not, it is time for the U.S. military to pick up their bat and ball and go home. It is only a matter of time before a major incident claims lives of the local people. The Okinawan people are remarkably forgiving under the circumstances.

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I heard it turned out to be a fishing sinker

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From watering your plants to finding a bullet lodged in your license plate, the stress must be unbearable. There will probably a follow-up story tomorrow saying the car was involved in something illegal near the firing ranges. Lucky it wasn't near one of the JSDF ranges.

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According to the Japanese news, granny was out in the parking lot doing something or other Wednesday afternoon, and hears a loud noise. Looks over to where the sound came from, and sees a bit of smoke at the back of son's car. Son checks the car Saturday morning (no explanation of the time gap), and finds a hole in his license plate. Takes it off, and finds a bullet lodged behind. Calls cops later that day...and here we are.

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Do you remember the case a few years back when an Okinawan farmer near a training range was complaining that he found a 50 calibre shell in his field.

No, but shells laying around ain't bullets lodged in cars. If people got so upset about shells, they are stupid.

The last part of the story wasn't reported so widely, as you can probably imagine.

I sure can. I know the U.S. military is not always treated fairly by certain Okinawans, and that in some ways a persecution complex is justified, but this is a bullet lodged in a car. Anyone would be concerned about that and all leads now point to the U.S. military.

The best play here is to remind people of the story of the farmer and the shell and leave it at that until more evidence is found. It shows that some people just have it in for the bases.

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These incidents have been ongoing since the American occupation. Please see this website for a list.

http://www.uchinanchu.org/history/list_of_crimes.htm

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We have a stray bullet incident in the Igei area in the Town of Kin. We have several similar incidents in the same area of the same town, and even more incidents like this happening all over Okinawa. I link to a list of these incidents, and it's off-topic? This shows a pattern of accidents and crimes on the part of the US military. It is quite logical to conclude that the current incident is the latest one in a long string of them. Evidence supporting that theory is surely relevant to the discussion.

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