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Navy tells leaders to act after alleged Japan rape

Associated Press Modified: November 9, 2012 at 5:32 pm •  Published: November 9, 2012
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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — The Navy is telling its leaders around the world to work harder on preventing sexual assaults after two sailors, including one from Texas, were arrested in Japan on rape charges.

The alleged rape was reported Oct. 16 in Okinawa, leading to an uproar on the island and a sharp rebuke from the Japanese government.

The commanders of U.S. Fleet Forces in Virginia and the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Hawaii sent a message to top officers and enlisted leaders last week saying this incident and other sexual assaults have negatively impacted the fleet's readiness and reputation. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the message on Friday.

The message said that U.S. strategy relies in part on host nations providing access to their ports, requiring sailors to be exemplary ambassadors.