Marine Arrested For Fatal Japanese Drunk Driving Crash

REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won.

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Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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Twenty-one-year-old U.S. Marine Nicholas James-McLean was arrested for drunkenly crashing a 2-ton truck into another vehicle, killing the Japanese driver Friday, the Japan Times reports.

McLean’s blood alcohol level was reportedly three times the legal limit during the incident. Commanding General of U.S. Marine Forces Japan Lt. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson lamented the accident in a statement.

“I would like to convey my deepest regret and sincere condolences to the family and friends of the Okinawan man who died as a result of this accident,” he said.

Relations with the Japanese public over the large U.S. troop presence have been tenuous since the 1995 gang-rape of a 12-year-old girl by three U.S. service members. Drunk driving incidents involving U.S. service member’s on Okinawa have been a further irritant to the debate, often inflaming domestic opposition to the U.S. presence.

The problem became so widespread the U.S. Navy instituted a drinking ban on all 18,600 personnel stationed in Japan and halted all off-base leave in June 2016.

“For decades we have enjoyed a strong relationship with the people of Japan. It is imperative that each sailor understand how our actions affect that relationship and the U.S.-Japan alliance as a whole,” Rear Adm. Matthew Carter, commander of U.S. naval forces in Japan, stressed in a press release at the time.

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