07:11 GMT +322 October 2019
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    US Air Force F-22 Raptors, right, and two F-15 Eagles prepare for take-off at Kadena Air Base on the southern island of Okinawa, in Japan (File)

    US Servicewoman From Okinawa Military Base Injures Two in Car Accident

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    US servicewoman from the Kadena Air Base in the southern Japanese prefecture of Okinawa injured two people in a road accident, the NHK broadcaster reported Sunday.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — US Navy Petty Officer Aimee Mejia was driving on the wrong lane at around 11:40 p.m. local time on Saturday (14:40 GMT), when she collided with two other cars, the NHK said.

    The broadcaster added that the servicewoman had already been arrested by local police on suspicion of driving under influence, as alcohol levels in Mejia's blood exceeded the permissible level sixfold.

    This is not the first incident with US personnel from the Kadena Air Base in the recent months. In May, 32-year-old former US Marine Kenneth Franklin was arrested on suspicion of stabbing and strangling a 20-year-old Japanese woman near the base. The woman, Rina Shimabukuro, disappeared on April 28 and was later found dead in a forest. Franklin has reportedly admitted to committing the murder.

    Following the incident with Franklin, the US command of the military bases in Okinawa introduced a curfew for the personnel serving in the region. The curfew, which started from May 27 and until June 24, prescribes all the military personnel to return to the bases' territory by midnight. It also forbids to buy alcoholic drinks outside the territory of the base, as well as to organize parties and spend night outside the base.

    Okinawa is home to a large US military presence and there have been mass protests over the years by the island’s inhabitants over incidents involving US personnel stationed there.

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    Aimee Mejia, Japan, Okinawa, United States
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