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SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Base commander Capt. Tilghman Payne planned to make an all-hands call Wednesday to remind sailors to behave off base following the arrest of a sailor in Fukuoka over the weekend, base officials said Tuesday.

The move followed an order Sunday from Task Force 76 that barred all sailors ranked E-3 and below and stationed aboard the harbor’s four largest ships from leaving the base.

Junior enlisted sailors from USS Essex, USS Juneau, USS Tortuga and USS Harpers Ferry will remain confined to base until the ships leave port for spring patrols, base spokesman Charles Howard said Tuesday.

Seaman Lamarco Vermicheal James, 22, was arrested Saturday morning in the Akasaka cho area of Fukuoka and accused of unlawful entry to an apartment building and remained in the custody of Japanese police Tuesday, a spokesman for Fukuoka prefecture police in Chuo ward said.

Payne is “taking the opportunity to remind our sailors of the critical importance that responsible behavior has in the relationship we desire with our host population,” Howard said in an e-mail to Stars and Stripes. “This includes being a good ambassador for our country, respecting the culture of our host country and without fail, obeying the laws of [Japan].”

James is assigned to the base’s transient personnel department, a unit that falls under Payne’s control, according to Howard.

On Sunday, police forwarded a charge of trespassing against James to the Fukuoka District Prosecutor’s Office, the police spokesman said.

Police said James was under the influence of alcohol when arrested but refused to give further details of the circumstances of the arrest.

A call was made to police around 4:30 a.m. that James and a woman were arguing at a restaurant near Tenjin, according to Fukuoka police. James allegedly fled the establishment when the police arrived and was found in the apartment building by police searching the area.

Fukuoka is about two hours northeast of Sasebo and is a popular weekend getaway for U.S. servicemembers in western Japan.

Stars and Stripes reporter Chiyomi Sumida contributed to this story.


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