Japanese police arrested on Sunday a US soldier to 24 years old on suspicion of rape in Okinawa, an incident that could reinforce the hostility of the inhabitants of the island to the military presence of the United States.
The suspect, based in Camp Schwab Marines, is accused of sexually assaulting a woman on the same day, in a Naha hotel, the capital of the territory of the extreme south of Japan, said Monday the AFP a representative of the Okinawa Prefecture of police.
The government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, lamented an "extremely unfortunate" incident.
Japan has "strongly protested" with its US ally which has ensured "take the matter very seriously," said Mr. Suga during his regular press briefing, adding that he hoped the police would quickly solve the case.
For his part, the governor of Okinawa, Takeshi Onaga, expressed his "resentment." "It is a serious criminal act (...) that can not be tolerated," he said, according to comments reported by Kyodo.
According to Japanese media, the soldier found the victim, a tourist visiting Okinawa, asleep in the hallway of the hotel and took her to his room in this state before raping her.
Both were housed in the same facility, but they did not know, said the release.
The US military declined to comment on the information.
In 1995, the kidnapping and rape of a schoolgirl 12 years by three soldiers had angered the local population. The United States had then promised to strengthen the discipline of their troops and decided to move the Futenma base.
Currently located in the city of Ginowan, this facility should be moved to a less populated coastal area in Henoko, Okinawa but the authorities demanding his complete disappearance of their region.
While the dispute was recently brought before the courts, the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, tried to calm the beginning of March by announcing the suspension of work, to resume serenely discussions with the prefecture.
Occupied by the Americans after the Second World War and the Japanese surrendered in 1972, the island of Okinawa, which represents less than 1% of Japanese territory, home to more than half of the 47,000 US troops present in Japan, forced cohabitation which is resented. The people complain of noise pollution, the risk of accidents and see it as an open door to crime.