Japan's Foreign Minister Yohei Kono on Sunday urged a top U.S. military official on Okinawa to take tougher measures against crimes committed by American servicemen based on the southern Japanese island, officials said. Kono was quoted by a Foreign Ministry spokesman as telling Brig. Gen. Willie Williams, the second highest-ranking U.S. Marine officer in Okinawa, that crimes by U.S. servicemen must be stopped in order to gain islanders' support for accommodating the massive American presence, The Associated Press reports. Okinawa, located 1,000 miles southwest of Tokyo, is home to half of the 47,000 U.S. troops stationed in Japan. It has been a key base in the Pacific since it was occupied at the end of World War II. Okinawans' anger toward the U.S. military exploded in 1995, when three U.S. military servicemen raped a 12-year-old schoolgirl. The incident led to widespread demands for a reduction in the bases.
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