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  HOME | USA

Family of Woman Murdered in Okinawa to Ask Compensation from US Government

TOKYO – The family of a woman who was murdered on the Japanese island of Okinawa by an ex-US marine, sentenced to life in jail, was set to ask the United States government for compensation.

In December, Kenneth Franklin Shinzato, 34, was handed a life sentence for the rape and murder of 20-year-old Rina Shimabukuro in April 2016, and was also ordered to pay compensation, which his defense team says he cannot pay, the slain woman’s family lawyer said on Monday.

Shinzato has appealed the sentence but not the compensation, leading the family to appeal to Washington for the funds, Kyodo news agency reported.

Shinzato was a member of the US Navy between 2007 and 2014, and was working as a civilian at the Kadena base in Okinawa when the incident took place on April 28, 2016.

The ex-marine admitted to the charges of rape and murder by stabbing and a blow to the victim’s head, but denied intent to murder.

The case triggered public outrage in Japan and intensified resentment against the US military deployment in the country after a series of criminal incidents involving US military personnel.

In 1995, three soldiers from an Okinawa base kidnapped and raped a 12-year-old girl, prompting some 85,000 people to protest.

In November 2017, a 60-year-old Japanese man died after a military truck driven by an allegedly drunk marine collided with his vehicle.

Okinawa houses more than half of the nearly 48,000 troops that the US maintains in Japan, as well as 70 percent of military facilities in the Asian country.

 

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