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Japan: Protesters rail at Okinawa woman’s murder after ex-US marine arrested01:20

Japan: Protesters rail at Okinawa woman’s murder after ex-US marine arrested

Japan, Tokyo
May 20, 2016 at 12:44 GMT +00:00 · Published

Protesters rallied in Tokyo, Friday, condemning the alleged murder of a 20-year-old Japanese woman by an American contractor working at a US military base on the Japanese island of Okinawa.

Dozens of demonstrators gathered in the city centre, carrying placards decrying the woman's death, for which US citizen and ex-Marine Kenneth Shinzato was arrested on Thursday.

Shinzato was detained after he informed police about the location of the body of the 20-year old victim, Rina Shimabukuro, which was later discovered in an Okinawa forest, after she went missing on April 28. Shinzato has reportedly admitted to strangling and stabbing the woman since.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has since expressed his outrage over the event, with US President Barack Obama voicing concern over the incident, just months after US seaman Justin Castellanos was arrested for allegedly raping a Japanese tourist on the island.

The protest comes as demonstrations continue to spring up throughout the country against the relocation of the US military's Futenma base to Henoko in Okinawa.

Okinawa already plays host to an estimated 26,000 US troops. The Futenma base itself is garrisoned by some 3,000 marines from the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. The relocation of the airbase from south of the island to the north has been met with fierce opposition since the project's plans were drawn up in 1996, with the current Mayor of Nago city Susumu Inamine coming out vocally against the Henoko relocation plan.

Abe has expressed support for the relocation with the string of violent incidents on the island putting pressure on the move.

Japan: Protesters rail at Okinawa woman’s murder after ex-US marine arrested01:20
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Protesters rallied in Tokyo, Friday, condemning the alleged murder of a 20-year-old Japanese woman by an American contractor working at a US military base on the Japanese island of Okinawa.

Dozens of demonstrators gathered in the city centre, carrying placards decrying the woman's death, for which US citizen and ex-Marine Kenneth Shinzato was arrested on Thursday.

Shinzato was detained after he informed police about the location of the body of the 20-year old victim, Rina Shimabukuro, which was later discovered in an Okinawa forest, after she went missing on April 28. Shinzato has reportedly admitted to strangling and stabbing the woman since.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has since expressed his outrage over the event, with US President Barack Obama voicing concern over the incident, just months after US seaman Justin Castellanos was arrested for allegedly raping a Japanese tourist on the island.

The protest comes as demonstrations continue to spring up throughout the country against the relocation of the US military's Futenma base to Henoko in Okinawa.

Okinawa already plays host to an estimated 26,000 US troops. The Futenma base itself is garrisoned by some 3,000 marines from the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. The relocation of the airbase from south of the island to the north has been met with fierce opposition since the project's plans were drawn up in 1996, with the current Mayor of Nago city Susumu Inamine coming out vocally against the Henoko relocation plan.

Abe has expressed support for the relocation with the string of violent incidents on the island putting pressure on the move.

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