TOKYO (AP) - A U.S. sailor from Muskogee accused of attacking a woman on Okinawa has been charged with rape.
Local prosecutors on Tuesday formally charged the two sailors involved - Seaman Christopher Browning of Athens, Texas, and Petty Officer 3rd Class Skyler Dozierwalker of Muskogee, Okla. - in the Oct. 16 incident that has brought an angry outcry on the southern Japan island.
Okinawa hosts more than half of the 52,000 U.S. troops in Japan.
Japan's defense minister said he was deeply concerned by allegations that two American military servicemen had raped a woman on the island of Okinawa and suggested that the US take more measures to prevent such attacks.
"This is an extremely heinous and despicable crime," Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto told Okinawa Governor Kazuhiro Nakaima and reporters on Wednesday.
The alleged rape has heightened longstanding tensions over base-related crime, accidents and noise. Military officials have since put all U.S. troops in Japan under a strict curfew, but police on Okinawa are now investigating an airman for allegedly violating the new restrictions and punching a 13-year-old boy after a late-night drinking binge.Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.