Fourth of July fireworks are being banned at U.S. bases in Japan this year after restrictions were put on them following the alleged rape and murder of an Okinawa woman by a former U.S. Marine.
U.S. Forces Japan wrote on Facebook, “no U.S. installations in Japan will celebrate the Fourth of July holiday with fireworks displays or concerts” out of respect for the loss of an Okinawan woman.
USFJ commander announces no fireworks/concerts this year to show respect to our Japanese neighbors. Full message: https://t.co/pFjn5K33l3
— U.S. Forces Japan (@USForcesJapan) June 23, 2016
The killing of the Okinawan woman has caused outrage among the people on the island. They have recently protested U.S. bases in the area, wanting them removed from Okinawa altogether.
The suspect in the killing is a U.S. military contractor and former U.S. Marine charged with rape, murder and abandoning the woman’s body.
After the suspect was arrested, the Marine Corps and Navy placed restrictions on the base, including the prohibition of alcohol consumption and off-base activities.
Outrage among Okinawa’s people is nothing new. In 1995, an Okinawa girl was raped by three American servicemen. They wanted U.S. bases to be removed then and a plan was drawn up afterwards to relocate a U.S. Marine Corps air station to another part of the island.
Roughly 50,000 United States troops are stationed on U.S. bases in Japan.
Deputy director of public affairs at U.S. Forces Japan, Maj. John Severns said in an email that sporting events, barbecues and other holiday-related community activities are still planned for the bases to share American independence traditions with the Japanese.