US naval base in Japan briefly locked down amid reports of gunshots

An entrance gate of US Fleet Activities Sasebo, a United States Navy base, in Sasebo, Japan.
An entrance gate of US Fleet Activities Sasebo, a United States Navy base, in Sasebo, Japan.PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (REUTERS) - A US naval base in western Japan was briefly locked down on Thursday (Nov 3) after reports of gunshots, but operations were soon back to normal with no evidence of an active shooter and no casualties, the navy said in an official tweet.

Gunshots had been reported from a building on the base at Sasebo, 980km west of Tokyo, on Thursday morning, and the base was put on lockdown as a precaution as the building was checked by security, said Mr Darin Wilson, Deputy Public Affairs Officer for US Naval Forces, Japan.

The tweet said that all was clear at Sasebo and the base had returned to normal activities.

US troops have been stationed in Japan since its World War II defeat. Occasional crime by US personnel or civilian base workers infuriates Japanese people and often fuels calls for the bases to go.