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A northbound U.S. military vehicle was rear-ended by a two-ton commercial vehicle early Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022, in the Yamazato area of Okinawa city, according to local media.

A northbound U.S. military vehicle was rear-ended by a two-ton commercial vehicle early Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022, in the Yamazato area of Okinawa city, according to local media. (Matthew M. Burke/Stars and Stripes)

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa – Two people affiliated with the U.S. military escaped unharmed from a collision that injured two Japanese men early Tuesday on the Okinawa Expressway, according to local media.

A northbound U.S. military vehicle was rear-ended by a two-ton commercial vehicle around 4:45 a.m. in the Yamazato area of Okinawa city, the Okinawa Times reported Tuesday. The commercial vehicle rolled over, injuring two men in their 40s. They were treated at a hospital; a third was not hospitalized, according to the newspaper.

None of the U.S. personnel were injured, the Times reported. It did not identify whether they were active duty, their service branch, how many were in the vehicle or what type vehicle was involved in the collision.

Okinawa police, contacted by phone on Wednesday by Stars and Stripes, had no details of the incident available due to a Japanese holiday. Marine Corps Installations Pacific did not respond to an email from Stars and Stripes on Wednesday seeking information.

Police closed the busy expressway for nearly three hours of the morning commute, from 5:25 a.m. to 8:15 a.m., to process the scene, the Ryukyu Shimpo newspaper reported Tuesday.

Traffic was backed up about six miles to the south, near the Naha interchange, Okinawa Times reported.

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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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Matthew M. Burke has been reporting from Okinawa for Stars and Stripes since 2014. The Massachusetts native and UMass Amherst alumnus previously covered Sasebo Naval Base and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, for the newspaper. His work has also appeared in the Boston Globe, Cape Cod Times and other publications.
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