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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 528-95
September 27, 1995

Joint Statement

The following statement was provided today by General Charles C. Krulak , Commandant of the Marine Corps, Major General Jefferson Davis Howell, Commander, Marine Forces Pacific, and Major General Wayne E. Rollings, Commanding General, III Marine Expeditionary Force, in response to the alleged rape in Okinawa, Japan:

"As United States citizens and as members of America's corps of Marines, we deeply regret this incident. While we can never right this grievous wrong, we can, and will, take the opportunity this unfortunate incident presents to reflect on the sacred bonds of trust and respect that have long tied our two nations together.

In the three weeks since the incident, we have cooperated closely with the Okinawan officials to ensure that justice is served. Additionally, we have focused our attention on the climate of mutual respect that must characterize our relationship.

These steps are important. They are not the end of our efforts. We have long felt welcomed in Japan and in many other countries around the world. We believe this imposes upon us a special trust -- one we take very seriously. It is our intent to continue efforts to reinforce the trust of the Okinawan people and build on the positive works and deeds of the tens of thousands of Marines, Sailors, and their families who call Okinawa their home. We will suspend military training in the III Marine Expeditionary Force for a day of reflection on and renewed awareness of our obligations to the Okinawan people. As part of this effort, religious services this weekend will focus on this reflection.

These steps are a reaffirmation of the continuing commitment of all Marines, of all Americans, to the citizens of nations who have welcomed us as members of their community."