A vehicle enters Camp Foster, Okinawa, April 3, 2020.

A vehicle enters Camp Foster, Okinawa, April 3, 2020. (Kameron Herndon/U.S. Marine Corps)

Japanese police arrested a university student detained by U.S. authorities after he drove onto a U.S. military base on Okinawa last week, according to an Okinawa Police spokesman.

The Japanese student drove onto Camp Foster around 1:22 p.m. Thursday, the police spokesman told Stars and Stripes by phone Tuesday.

The unidentified male student, 19, of Okinawa city, entered Gate 3, and was detained by U.S. military personnel, the spokesman said. Some Japanese government spokespeople may speak to the media only on condition of anonymity.

Okinawa police officers took the student to a police station, where he was questioned and officially arrested at 10:07 p.m. on suspicion of violating the status of forces agreement between Japan and the United States by entering the base without approval, the spokesman said.

“A Japanese suspect did not provide the proper identification and attempted to come onto Camp Foster,” 2nd Lt. Kelsey Enlow, a spokesperson for Marine Corps Installations Pacific, confirmed by email Wednesday. “After refusing to follow verbal commands from the Gate Guards, the barriers went up and the individual was prevented from entering the installation. Military police responded to the incident and called Japanese police who took custody of the individual. We commend the gate guards for acting in a timely manor and following proper procedure.”

Police are investigating the reason he entered the base, the Japanese police spokesman said.

Police forwarded the case to the Naha prosecutors office on Friday, he said.

Stars and Stripes reporter Kelly Agee contributed to this report.

author picture
Hana Kusumoto is a reporter/translator who has been covering local authorities in Japan since 2002. She was born in Nagoya, Japan, and lived in Australia and Illinois growing up. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and previously worked for the Christian Science Monitor’s Tokyo bureau.

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