CAMP PENDLETON, CA – Military police arrested a Japanese citizen from the island of Okinawa Sunday, on suspicion of trespassing, assault, and disorderly conduct, among other charges.
This is the eighth instance of a drunken Okinawan causing trouble at the Marine Corps base just this year. There were 112 incidents recorded last year at Pendleton involving Okinawan citizens, with charges mostly stemming from drunk and disorderly conduct, speeding, trespassing, or indecent exposure.
The thirty-seven year old man has been identified as Masahiko Yoma of Naha. Military police say that Yoma was found passed out drunk inside the barracks room of Lance Corporal Phillip Ester at Camp San Mateo on the northern end of the base.
It is still not clear how he gained access to the base or made it into the barracks room.
“We’re still investigating but we can confirm a few things about this latest incident involving yet another Okinawan,” said military policeman Sergeant Brandon Ellis. “Yoma was found with a blood-alcohol level of .27, he was hostile when woken up and attempted to fight us, and he is currently being held in the brig.”
Other witnesses interviewed by Duffel Blog investigators have said they saw Yoma outside the base at local bars in San Clemente.
“I saw this drunken Okinawan at Goody’s [Tavern],” said Lance Corporal Alan Schmidt of 3rd Bn, 5th Marines. “The guy was so wasted, he stripped completely naked and started playing pool like it was no big deal.”
California Governor Jerry Brown has remarked that the latest incident is ridiculous, and he will be protesting to both the U.S. and Japanese governments to respond appropriately.
“Enough is enough. We’ve already tried to give these Okinawans a curfew and that has not worked,” said Brown in a press conference. “I think the only thing we can do at this point is to get these people out and send them to Hawaii instead.”
Police have said that Yoma will be brought up on charges in an Orange County courtroom later this week, but Japanese government officials have insisted that he be returned for trial at home.
If returned, Yoma would face punishment ranging anywhere from public flogging, forced seppuku, or a slap on the wrist.