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OKINAWA CITY — A 19-year-old Marine assigned to Camp Hansen was taken into Okinawa police custody Saturday, accused of possessing an illegal knife.

A police spokesman said the Marine, whose name was withheld because he is considered a minor under Japanese law, was questioned and searched when he and another Marine were observed loitering near a bar in the Ueichi district of Okinawa City at 5:35 a.m.

One Marine was observed asleep on the sidewalk, the police spokesman said. The second Marine, who had the knife, was standing nearby.

He possessed a folding knife with a blade that measured 9 centimeters long (3.6 inches), the police spokesman said. Japan’s strict Sword and Firearm Control Law prohibits possessing any knife with a blade exceeding 7 centimeters (2.8 inches). The maximum punishment for violating the law is imprisonment for a year and a fine of 300,000 yen (about $2,730).

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