U.S. military truck crash kills elderly civilian in Okinawa, Japan

Marco Green
November 20, 2017

On Sunday morning, the driver of a USA military truck reportedly violated traffic regulations, running a red light and crashing into a light vehicle at an intersection in Naha, the capital of Okinawa Prefecture, according to NHK.

Police say a 61-year-old man died when his vehicle and the serviceman's truck collided.

The unidentified Marine was driving a truck that collided with a small truck at an intersection early Sunday morning in Naha, the main city in Okinawa, police said. The civilian who drove the auto was taken to hospital and later pronounced dead.

Authorities said the Marine was slightly injured in the crash. He was three times over the legal limit in the breath test, they said. The driver, allegedly a member of the US Marine Corps, was drunk at the moment of the crash and is being questioned.

The US Marine Corps confirmed the accident in a statement, expressing "sincere condolences" to the family of the dead man and promising full cooperation with the investigation.

According to the Japanese foreign ministry, the USA ambassador to Japan, William F. Hagerty, expressed condolences and issued an apology to Shinsuke Sugiyama, the Japanese vice minister for foreign affairs. The large concentration of USA troops on the island of Okinawa has been repeatedly criticized by Okinawa's residents due to the high number of crimes committed by United States military personnel, as well as U.S. aircraft crashes around its airbases.

The fatal auto incident could rekindle growing opposition in Okinawa to the US military presence there.

The case intensified longstanding local opposition to the American military presence on Okinawa.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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