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Yankee Lieutenant-General calls Japs ‘wimps’

Email stirs up a bit of trouble down in Okinawa

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An email sent by the head of US military forces on the island of Okinawa (just south of Japan), in which he called local Japanese officials "nuts" and "wimps", has created a bit of a stink after it was leaked to the Japanese media.

According to the BBC (although who knows where they nicked it from), Lieutenant-General Earl Hailston sent the email to 13 other officers following an incident with a US marine and a local girl. The sergeant had been arrested for allegedly lifting up the skirt of a local girl and getting a few snaps of what lay beneath. A local assembly then voted on whether to reduce the number of US forces in the area.

The email gave Earl's reaction to the governor and vice-governor's failure to step in over the affair "as the assembly passed an inflammatory and damaging resolution". In what Earl has explained was a bid to gain the attention of his commanders, he then said: "I think they are all nuts and a bunch of wimps." Tensions can run high on the island as it hosts the majority of all the US troops in the area (30,000) and locals still remember the rape of a local girl by three marines in 1995.

The incident reached ministerial level with the Defence Minister calling the email "extremely regrettable". Earl has apologised heavily and the island's governor is none-too-pleased but Japanese PM Yoshiro Mori then jumped in to defuse the row, saying that it was a personal communication and Earl had apologised, so they should all stop arguing and kiss and make up.

A worrying scenario, although what is more interesting to us is that the Japanese blatantly have access to all the email among the American forces. Would any US officer seriously leak the email to the Japanese press? No, of course they wouldn't. So now poor ole Earl (and everyone else on the base) can be sure that the Japanese know everything they have written in emails. Oh dear.

Incidentally, if any readers wish to sent us ranting emails accusing us of being racist, belying their own racism, could they please direct them to gruntearl@okinawa.usmilitary.mil or wimpynuts@okinawa.jp. Ta. ®

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