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U.S. military imposes Japan-wide alcohol ban after fatal crash

Staff Writer |
Following an alleged drunk-driving accident involving a U.S. Marine Corps member in Japan's southernmost prefecture of Okinawa that killed a 61-year-old local man, all U.S. service members in Japan have been prohibited from consuming alcohol, the U.S forces said.

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The ban applies to service people consuming alcohol on or off bases, the U.S. forces said.

Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga, a staunch proponent of lessening the base hosting burdens of the people of Okinawa, said of the incident that he is at a loss for words.

"The same thing happens again and again. I am lost for words," Onaga was quoted as saying.

According to a statement released by the U.S. forces in Japan, service people in Okinawa have been restricted to their bases and residences and the consumption of alcohol has been banned in their homes and public facilities such as hotels, bars and clubs.

On Japan's mainland, according to the statement, U.S. military personnel have also been prohibited from buying or drinking alcohol, also for an indefinite period of time.

On Sunday morning in Okinawa's capital city of Naha, a local man in his 60s was killed when a two-ton truck driven by a 21-year-old U.S. Marine under the influence of alcohol, struck his vehicle.

Prior to his arrest on suspicion of negligent driving resulting in death, the Marine admitted he had been drinking beer inside a U.S. base.

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