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Okinawa Rapes Prompt US Military Overnight Patrol

Naha, Okinawa -- The U.S. military in Japan's southernmost prefecture of Okinawa said Wednesday that it will start an overnight patrol by U.S. servicemen in plain clothes in the city of Naha.

The decision, aimed at confirming whether U.S. military men keep a curfew from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m., came after a recent series of incidents involving U.S. military personnel in the prefecture.

The curfew was imposed after two U.S. sailors were nabbed on charges of raping and injuring a Japanese woman in the prefecture in October.

According to an announcement by U.S. forces, a team with one serviceman each from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, will patrol from 10 p.m. until 5:30 a.m.

Similar patrols have already been conducted in busy districts with many U.S. soldiers, including the city of Okinawa and the town of Chatan.

Incidents since the U.S. military issued the curfew on Oct. 19 include the arrest of a U.S. Marine on Sunday for an alleged home invasion in Naha during the curfew hours.

The patrol is part of attempts to dispel growing distrust in the U.S. military among Okinawa residents.

Most servicemen know right from wrong, the military said, promising to make efforts to remain a good neighbor for local residents.

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