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An Okinawa-based Marine’s blood-alcohol content was triple Japan’s legal limit Sunday when his vehicle collided with a minitruck, killing its Japanese driver, police say.
The Marine was “lightly injured” in the 5:30 a.m. crash at a Naha intersection, said Okinawa policeman Kazuhiko Miyagi, who confirmed the results of the servicemember’s Breathalyzer test to The Associated Press.
In Japan, driving with a blood-alcohol content of 0.03 percent can result in an automatic DUI offense.
The victim was a 61-year-old man who was making a turn when his vehicle was hit by the Marine's truck, which was coming in the opposite direction, Japanese media reports said. A witness told police that a military truck had run a red light and hit the minitruck as it was attempting to make a right turn.
The drivers’ names have not been released.
The cause of the crash is under investigation, said a statement issued Sunday evening by Marine Corps Installations Pacific at Camp Foster.
"I would like to convey my deepest regret and sincere condolences to the family and friends of the Okinawan man who died as a result of this accident," Lt. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson, commander of Marine Forces Japan and III Marine Expeditionary Force, said in the statement. "We are still gathering facts and working with the Japanese authorities who are investigating the accident and its causes.”
Nicholson added that the Marine Corps holds servicemembers to the “highest standards of conduct,” and that it would cooperate with investigators “to the fullest extent.”
“You have my promise that I will rigorously work to determine the cause of the incident, and take every possible step to keep this from happening again," he said.
Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs requested Sunday that officials with U.S. Forces Japan and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo strengthen discipline among servicemembers and take steps to prevent future incidents. 
U.S. Ambassador to Japan William Hagerty responded by apologizing and expressing his condolences “to the victim killed in this tragic incident as well as his family,” a MOFA statement said.
Hagerty added that the U.S. side would cooperate with the investigation and move to prevent future incidents, the statement said.
The fatal collision could ignite further opposition to the U.S. military presence on Okinawa, where a string of alcohol-fueled incidents last year inspired protests and efforts to combat the problem.
Tens of thousands of people turned out in summer 2016 for demonstrations sparked by incidents involving U.S. forces, including the alcohol-fueled rape of a Japanese woman by a sailor and a crash involving an intoxicated Navy petty officer driving the wrong way down a highway that injured three people.
In December, leaders from each service branch on the island signed a proclamation urging military commanders and civilian supervisors to promote awareness of why people drive impaired, support programs and policies to reduce the problem, and promote healthier and safer activities.
Of the approximately 100,000 U.S. servicemembers, family members and Defense Department civilian workers living in Japan, about half are stationed on Okinawa.

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