The Straits Times
Published on Oct 26, 2012

US offers apology over alleged Okinawa rape incident


TOKYO (AFP) - The United States (US) has issued its most high-level apology yet to Japan over the alleged rape of a woman in Okinawa by two servicemen.

US Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell told an audience in Tokyo on Friday of Washington's sorrow, the latest move to soothe anger at a time of heightened anti-US feeling on the island.

"I need to begin, if I may, with a heartfelt apology and (the expression of) deep commitment to Japanese friends," Mr Campbell, the US point man on East Asia, said in a symposium on the Japan-US alliance in Tokyo. "These incidents are profoundly, deeply regrettable and the United States takes them very seriously," he said.

The US put all 47,000 military personnel - both in Okinawa and elsewhere - under an indefinite nighttime curfew in response to the alleged rape, following the arrest of two servicemen last week.