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Snorkeler arrested after trespassing onto coastal US Marine base on Okinawa

Landfill work continues in March 2019 for a runway at Camp Schwab, a Marine Corps base on Okinawa.

CARLOS VAZQUEZ/STARS AND STRIPES

By MATTHEW M. BURKE AND AYA ICHIHASHI | STARS AND STRIPES Published: January 6, 2020

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — A South African man was arrested at Camp Schwab late last month after illegally entering the coastal Marine Corps base on Okinawa while snorkeling.

Jonathan Kart Edwards, 24, was apprehended Dec. 28 by security forces, Japan Coast Guard spokesman Yuta Yamada told Stars and Stripes on Monday.

Hours later, Edwards — who teaches English on Okinawa for a Japanese company — was handed over to officials from the Nakagusuku Coast Guard Office, who placed him under arrest, Yamada said.

The incident was still under investigation Monday and had not been referred to prosecutors, said Nakagusuku spokesman Yukihiro Miyagi.

Investigators believe Edwards, who has been released from custody, did not intentionally enter the remote installation, Miyagi said. However, Edwards could receive a year in prison or about $18.50 in fines if convicted.

Camp Schwab, home of the 4th Marine Regiment, has been the subject of frequent protests in recent years due to the planned relocation of air assets there from Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, which is slated for closure.

burke.matt@stripes.com
Twitter: @MatthewMBurke1
ichihashi.aya@stripes.com

Twitter: @AyaIchihashi

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