4 US teens arrested at military base in Japan

AP News
Posted: Dec 05, 2009 12:58 AM

Japanese police have arrested four teenagers living on a U.S. military base for allegedly putting a rope across a road that caused a woman to crash her motorbike and suffer a head injury, officials and news reports said Saturday.

The four were handed over to Tokyo police by officials at Yokota Air Base, on Tokyo's outskirts, said Mitsuru Takahashi, a spokeswoman for the base.

Tokyo police refused to comment.

Military officials would not provide the names of the teenagers or further details because they are minors and because an investigation is under way. Takahashi said base officials were cooperating with Japanese authorities.

According to Japanese media reports, a woman was riding her motorbike on Aug. 13 when she hit the rope and fell, fracturing her skull. She reportedly saw the teenagers nearby. The four were also allegedly caught on a surveillance videotape.

Base-related crime has long been an issue in Japan, where about 47,000 U.S. troops are stationed under a mutual security pact. The latest incident near Yokota received coverage on the national news in Japan. It reportedly occurred about one kilometer (less than a mile) from the sprawling air base.