US sailor arrested in Japan: Reports

TOKYO (AFP) - Japanese police arrested a 20-year-old US sailor on Monday for allegedly breaking into an elderly woman's property while drunk, reports said, despite a night-time curfew.

It is the latest in a series of arrests of US servicemen in Japan, where another drunken sailor, 24, was arrested over trespassing only a week ago, also allegedly breaking the curfew imposed last year after the gang rape of a Japanese woman.

Manuel Silva, who serves aboard the US aircraft carrier George Washington, admitted breaking into the grounds of a 72-year-old woman's house in the port city of Yokosuka, south of Tokyo, Kyodo News and Jiji Press reported.

But Silva, drunk at the time of the arrest, "spoke nonsense" to police, claiming he entered the property because he was called in by a police officer, the Yomiuri daily said.

Police officers were sent to the scene after they received several emergency calls from the neighbourhood reporting that somebody was ringing doorbells in the middle of the night, the reports said.

Police officers later found Silva lying down in the grounds of the woman's house, the reports said.

The sailor is believed to have violated a night-time curfew imposed by the US military on all its servicemen in Japan after two sailors were arrested on charges of raping a woman in Okinawa in October.

Local police and the US military were not immediately available for comment. Despite the curfew, misconduct involving US servicemen has continued to fuel anti-US sentiment in host communities. Incidents include drink-driving and trespassing under the influence of alcohol.

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