Japan defense chief warns: Repeated US military crimes could hurt ties

Japan's defense minister warned Friday that further sex assaults by US troops in Japan could shake the two countries' alliance, while reports said the Japanese government will install surveillance cameras around US military bases to deter crime. The warning came amid a furor over troop-related crimes after a US Marine's arrest last week on suspicion of raping a 14-year-old girl. The Marine's arrest and a series of other crimes blamed on US troops have heightened sentiments against the US military presence in Japan, particularly on Okinawa island - where more than half the US troops are based. Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba warned that further crimes could harm relations between the US and Japan, Washington's top ally in Asia and a linchpin of its defense posture in the western Pacific.