Major General Michael T. Harrison, the commanding general of United States Army Japan, was suspended Friday for not adequately investigating an allegation of sexual assault, the Army said.


Harrison was relieved of his command by Army chief of staff General Ray Odierno.

Major General James C. Boozer, who formerly served as deputy commanding general for the United States Army Europe, will serve as the top general for United States Army Japan.

Harrison's suspension comes as congressional lawmakers urge the military to  better respond to allegations of sexual assault. A report last month said that there had been a 35 percent increase of unwanted sexual advances between 2010 and 2012.

Currently, the Senate Armed Services Committee is considering seven bills meant to help prevent sexual assaults. The House Armed Services Committee on Thursday passed a defense authorization bill with amendments meant to improve sexual assault and sexual harassment regulations.

"We need systemic reforms that will increase accountability, objectivity and trust in the military justice system by having trained legal professionals handle these cases from the beginning," Glen Caplin, a spokesman for Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandOvernight Defense — Presented by The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates — Senators seek US intel on journalist's disappearance | Army discharged over 500 immigrant recruits in one year | Watchdog knocks admiral over handling of sexual harassment case Pentagon watchdog knocks top admiral for handling of sexual harassment case Gillibrand backs Manchin, Bredesen despite their support of Kavanaugh MORE (D-N.Y.), a member of the Armed Services Committee, said according to USA Today.