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US Air Force sergeant arrested over suspected DUI in Okinawa

The Okinawa Prefectural Government headquarters (Mainichi/Takayasu Endo)

NAHA -- A U.S. Air Force sergeant stationed at the Kadena Air Base in Japan's southernmost prefecture of Okinawa was arrested on Nov. 20 on suspicion of driving under the influence, police said.

    It was the 15th arrest of U.S. military personnel in Okinawa Prefecture since Oct. 24, according to the Okinawa Prefectural Government's base affairs division. These allegations include robbery, assault and Road Traffic Act violations, most of which involved alcohol.

    In the latest case, Staff Sergeant Carlos Humberto Diaz, 26, is suspected of driving a car while intoxicated in the prefectural town of Chatan at around 11:40 p.m. on Nov. 19. According to Okinawa Police Station, Diaz collided with an oncoming motorcycle at an intersection when he was making a right turn. He was found to have been driving with alcohol in his system following the collision. Two men on the motorcycle suffered minor injuries. Diaz apparently told police he didn't want to answer their questions regarding the allegations.

    The prefectural government has protested to the U.S. government as well as the Japanese Defense Ministry's Okinawa Defense Bureau and demanded the U.S. military enforces strict discipline of its personnel.

    (Japanese original by Nozomu Takeuchi, Naha Bureau)

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