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U.S. serviceman arrested over alleged rape in Okinawa, Japan

TOKYO, March 13 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. sailor was arrested by local police in Japan's southernmost prefecture of Okinawa on Sunday over alleged raping of a female traveler in her 40s, according to local report.

The U.S. Navy sailor, according to Japan's Kyodo News, was identified as Justin Castellanos, 24, a seaman at the U.S. Navy's Camp Schwab in northern part of the prefecture. The report said that the suspect denied the allegation.

The suspect and the victim, who traveled from Fukuoka Prefecture, were staying at the same hotel in Naha, capital city of Okinawa, and he allegedly took the woman into his room and committed the crime after finding she was sleeping in the corridor, Kyodo cited local police as reporting.

Crimes committed by U.S. servicemen such as a rape of an elementary schoolgirl in 1995 and trespass or drunk driving in recent years triggered local residents' aversion to U.S. servicemen stationed in the prefecture.

Okinawa accounts for less than 1 percent of Japan's total territories but hosts over 70 percent of U.S. bases in Japan.

The prefectural government and residents also called for the removal of U.S. airbases out of the prefecture due to safety concerns, triggering tensions between Okinawa and the Japanese and U.S. governments.

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