Arrow-right Camera
News >  World

U.S. troops in Japan banned from drinking after fatal crash

UPDATED: Sun., Nov. 19, 2017, 9:26 p.m.

A Japanese driver’s damaged vehicle is placed at a police station in Naha, Okinawa, southern Japan on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. Police on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa are investigating a fatal traffic accident that occurred Sunday when a truck driven by a U.S. Marine collided with the small truck at an intersection, killing the Japanese driver of the other vehicle. (Kazuki Sawada / Kyodo News)
A Japanese driver’s damaged vehicle is placed at a police station in Naha, Okinawa, southern Japan on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. Police on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa are investigating a fatal traffic accident that occurred Sunday when a truck driven by a U.S. Marine collided with the small truck at an intersection, killing the Japanese driver of the other vehicle. (Kazuki Sawada / Kyodo News)

TOKYO – U.S. military personnel in Okinawa have been restricted to base and banned from drinking alcohol after a Marine was arrested over a crash that killed a Japanese man.

Police on the southern Japanese island arrested 21-year-old Nicholas James-McLean late Sunday on suspicion of negligent driving resulting in injury or death and driving under the influence of alcohol, said Kazuhiko Miyagi of the Okinawa police.

He confirmed that a breath test indicated James-McLean had an alcohol level that was three times the legal limit. The Marine was slightly injured, Miyagi said.

Hidemasa Taira, 61, who was driving a small truck, died in the Sunday morning crash in Naha, the main city in Okinawa.

He was making a turn when his vehicle was hit by James-McLean’s truck, which was coming from the opposite direction, according to Japanese media. The reports cited witnesses as saying the Japanese driver had the right of way when the crash occurred and the Marine may have driven through a red light.

The incident could fuel opposition to the U.S. military presence on Okinawa, where about 25,000 American troops are stationed and where local residents have expressed concerns in the past about military crime and crowding on the island.

The U.S. military said “alcohol may have been a factor” in the crash.

Buying and drinking alcohol was banned for U.S. military personnel all over Japan. As well, those on Okinawa were restricted to base and their residences, until further notice.

The military said commanders across Japan will immediately lead mandatory training on responsible alcohol use and acceptable behavior.

“When our service members fail to live up to the high standards we set for them, it damages the bonds between bases and local communities and makes it harder for us to accomplish our mission,” U.S. Forces, Japan, said in a statement posted on its website.


Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter

Get the day's top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter

There was a problem subscribing you to the newsletter. Double check your email and try again, or email webteam@spokesman.com

You have been successfully subscribed!


Top stories in World

Trump, at UN, says 2nd North Korea summit likely ‘soon’

Confronting the dangers of North Korea’s nuclear threat, President Donald Trump arrived at the United Nations on Monday striking a far less ominous tone than a year ago, announcing he likely will hold a second summit with Kim Jong Un “quite soon.”