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The 35th Fighter Wing commander visited the Misawa City mayor Monday to apologize for recent drinking-and-driving incidents involving military personnel, according to officials.

Misawa Mayor Kazumasa Taneichi asked Col. David Stilwell to take preventive measures to prevent future incidents, according to Hitoshi Numayama, with the city’s base relations section.

Base spokesman Capt. Martin Gerst said Tuesday that Stilwell is going to address alcohol-related issues during a special American Forces Network radio broadcast at 9 a.m. Friday.

Misawa police said they arrested a 19-year-old Misawa servicemember early Sunday morning on allegations of drinking and driving Saturday night.

Police officials would not name him, since he’s considered a minor under Japanese law.

A Japanese citizen told police the servicemember hit his house with a car around 11:25 p.m. Saturday, then drove away. Police later found the servicemember and the damaged car, and a breath test indicated he was drunk.

Also, a U.S. civilian attached to the U.S. Army’s Shariki Communications Site was arrested over the weekend in Tsugaru city, according to police.

Stanley Wayne Alexander, 33, was arrested at 11:17 p.m. Saturday after he was involved in a head-on collision with a Japanese driver, who suffered minor injuries. Police said Alexander registered above the legal limit for alcohol. He remained in custody Tuesday.

On July 9, Misawa police also referred a case to local prosecutors in connection with an alleged drinking-and-driving incident from March. Prosecutors must now decide whether to press charges against the driver, the family member of a base servicemember.

Stars and Stripes reporter T.D. Flack contributed to this story.

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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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