U.S. Forces Japan ordered an alcohol ban for troops based in Japan, and restricted Okinawa-based service members to their base and residences Sunday, after a fatal vehicle crash involving a U.S. Marine that killed an Okinawan man.
The 61-year-old victim was making a turn when his vehicle was struck by the Marine’s truck coming from the opposite direction early Sunday, the Associated Press reported.
Witnesses said the Japanese driver had the right of way, and that the Marine may have gone through a red light, according to local media reports cited by the AP.
The Marine was slightly injured in the 5:30 a.m. crash in Okinawa’s main city of Naha.
Police said a breath test indicated the Marine’s alcohol level was three times the legal limit, according to the AP.
A U.S. Forces Japan statement said alcohol may have been a factor in the crash.
The names of the victim and the involved Marine have not been released.
U.S. Forces Japan ordered Okinawa-based troops restricted to their base and residences, and banned alcohol consumption in residences and public locales.
Troops based in mainland Japan were also prohibited from buying or drinking alcohol on or off base, a release states.
Mandatory training for all troops and government civilians will be held across Japan to address responsible alcohol use, according to the command.
The command said in the release that it is committed to being “good neighbors with our host communities.”
“The vast majority of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and civilians in Japan serve honorably and make great contributions to the defense of Japan,” the command said. “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.”
There are about 44,000 U.S. troops stationed in Japan, with more than 25,000 troops stationed in Okinawa.