Tokyo: The US Navy yesterday banned its sailors stationed in Japan from drinking in response to the arrest of an American sailor in Okinawa on a suspected DUI charge.

“We have recognised a problem, we’re owning it, and we’re doing everything to ensure that every one of our sailors understands how important our behaviour is to our relationship to the people of Japan,” said Ronald Flanders, spokesman, Naval Forces Japan.

On Saturday, Petty Officer 2nd Class Aimee Mejia, was arrested after allegedly driving on the wrong side of the road, hitting two cars and injuring two people. She is being held by Japanese police on suspicion of drunken driving. In March, an American sailor was arrested following the suspected rape of a Japanese tourist at a hotel in Okinawa. He pleaded guilty.