KANAGAWA (TR) – The U.S. Navy said on Saturday that it is investigating at least 12 U.S. sailors based in Japan over the alleged use and distribution of illegal drugs, reports Kyodo News (Feb. 10).
The news agency said that some of the U.S. sailors serve aboard the nuclear-powered supercarrier USS Ronald Reagan, which is deployed to United States Fleet Activities Yokosuka in Kanagawa Prefecture.
“The U.S. Navy has zero tolerance for drug abuse and takes all allegations involving misconduct of our Sailors, Navy civilians and family members very seriously,” the navy said in a statement, according to Kyodo.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that the navy believes the sailors used and traded LSD, Ecstasy and other drugs. It is also speculated that Japanese nationals were a part of the distribution network.
The Journal added that the probe began after a petty officer tipped off the navy about the illegal activity on February 6.
The revelations follow the apprehension on February 3 by Tokyo Metropolitan Police of a sailor from the USS Ronald Reagan over the alleged rape of a woman in the capital. An official with the U.S. Navy said that the woman is not Japanese, but no other information on the case has been revealed.
In December, the USS Ronald Reagan returned to Yokosuka after completing a three-month voyage that included a joint exercise with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force in the Sea of Japan, an activity that coincided with North Korea ramping up its missile testing.