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    People protesting the planned relocation of the U.S. military base, to Okinawa's Henoko coast, shout slogans at a rally in front of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's official residence, as a meeting between Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga and Abe is held, in Tokyo in this April 17, 2015 file photo

    Okinawa Outraged Over Alleged Rape by US Soldier

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    The Japanese government on Monday formally protested the alleged rape of a Japanese woman a US sailor in Okinawa Prefecture, the country's chief cabinet secretary said.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — US soldier Justin Castellanos, 24, was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of raping a woman in a hotel in Naha, the capital of the prefecture. The American citizen denied the rape accusations.

    "It was extremely regrettable that this case happened… [The government] demanded that the United States tighten discipline and prevent a recurrence of such incidents," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said, as quoted by Kyodo News.

    According to Kyodo News, the letter of protest regarding the incident was sent to the US Embassy in Tokyo and US military officials by the Japanese foreign and defense ministries. respectively.

    At a press conference, Okinawa governor Takeshi Onaga called the rape case a serious crime.

    The residents of the island prefecture of Okinawa have a strained relationship with the United States, which ran the island group as a protectorate between 1945 and 1972. 

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    soldier, sexual abuse, rape, Japan, United States
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