TOKYO -- Japanese officials criticized the Bush administration on Wednesday for failing to surrender a 24-year-old U.S. Air Force sergeant charged with raping a Japanese woman last week outside a U.S. military base in Okinawa.
Police and political leaders in Okinawa, and senior members of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's cabinet, expressed surprise and dismay that two days after Japanese courts had issued a warrant for the suspect's arrest, U.S. officials had not turned over the serviceman.
Yasuo Fukuda, chief spokesman for Koizumi's cabinet, said he was frustrated that it was taking so long for Washington to authorize the handover of the suspect, identified as Tech. Sgt. Timothy Woodland. "If it takes much longer, we may have to ask for an explanation," Fukuda said. Woodland has denied the rape charges.
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