July 4 to be subdued at US bases on Okinawa
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Expect a quiet July 4th weekend at U.S. bases on Okinawa as lingering fallout from the month-long period of unity and mourning for American troops, the island’s senior military leader said Saturday.
“It’s going to be subdued; no concerts, no fireworks,” said Marine Lt. Gen. Lawrence D. Nicholson, commanding officer of III Marine Expeditionary Force and Okinawa area coordinator.
The mourning period, announced three weeks ago in response to the slaying of a 20-year-old Okinawa woman that police have linked to a U.S. civilian working at Kadena Air Base, ends next Saturday. An extended curfew and a ban on buying and consuming alcohol off base also were imposed.
In consultation with military and consular leadership on island, “The decision was made that it’s probably still too soon [for a celebratory July 4th weekend],” Nicholson said in an exclusive interview. “Once 4th of July is past, then we’ll ease back into” normal routines.
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