August 27, 2014
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - The Navy is telling its leaders around the world to work harder on preventing sexual assaults after two sailors were arrested in Japan on rape charges.
The alleged rape was reported Oct. 16 in Okinawa, leading to an uproar on the island and a sharp rebuke from the Japanese government.
The commanders of U.S. Fleet Forces in Virginia and the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Hawaii sent a message to top officers and enlisted leaders last week saying this incident and other sexual assaults have negatively impacted the fleet's readiness and reputation. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the message on Friday.
The message said that U.S. strategy relies in part on host nations providing access to their ports, requiring sailors to be exemplary ambassadors.
Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.