During a state visit to Japan yesterday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice apologized to Japanese officials over the alleged rape of a 14-year-old Okinawa girl by a U.S. Marine. "We certainly hope that there will not be lasting effects; [our friendship with Japan is] a longstanding and strong alliance," Rice said. "Our concern right now is to see that justice is done, to get to the bottom of it, and our concern is for the girl and her family. We really, really deeply regret it." The accused Marine, Tyrone Hadnott, denies the charge, claiming that he only got on top of the teen and kissed her. This is not the first rape charge leveled at U.S. servicemen in Okinawa, and local residents have been picketing to protest American behavior. [New York Times]
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