Okinawa police investigate stray bullet near Marine Corps range
By MATTHEW M. BURKE AND AYA ICHIHASHI | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 22, 2018
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — No injuries were reported after a stray bullet shattered windows in a farmer’s shed near a Marine Corps firing range on Okinawa.
The incident happened between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Thursday in Sukuta, Nago, according to Japanese police.
A mango farmer told authorities he had come home from shopping to discover two broken windows and a 2-inch-long bullet on the floor of his shed, police and the Okinawa Times reported.
Nago police said they were trying to determine where the bullet came from. Camp Schwab’s Range 10 is approximately half a mile from the farm.
Officials from Japan’s Okinawa Defense Bureau said U.S. military officials told them in advance of field exercises in the area around the time of the incident.
In response, U.S. officials closed Range 10 until further notice “as a precaution,” a Marine statement said.
“We value the safety of the local community in which we live and take this matter very seriously,” the Marines said in the statement. “We are working with our counterparts at the Okinawa Prefectural Police to the greatest extent possible in support of the investigation.”
Since Okinawa’s reversion back to Japanese control in 1972, there have been 28 stray bullet incidents, the Okinawa Times newspaper reported.
The Marines temporarily shut down ranges in April of last year after bullets struck a vehicle and a water tank at a construction site on Camp Hansen.