TOKYO (Sputnik) – Earlier this week, it was reported that Kenneth Franklin Shinzato, a US national and a former marine who works at the US Air Force base in Okinawa, was arrested on suspicion of disposing of Rina Shimabukuro’s body. The local authorities reportedly believe that he has also killed the young woman who has been missing since April.
According to the NHK broadcaster, the residents of the prefecture are currently standing outside the Kadena Air Base demanding its closure.
Later that day, US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter pledged his full cooperation to Japan over the incident.
Okinawa is home to a large US military presence and there have been mass protests over the years by the island’s inhabitants over incidents of alleged rape by US armed forces personnel stationed there.
Another murder in Okinawa, Japan. Sad that few few Americans make the entire race hate us pretty much.— Sig (@RampageZayaLA) 19 мая 2016 г.
Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga on murder of local woman: "This incident has occurred precisely because the base is there."— SNA Japan (@ShingetsuNews) 20 мая 2016 г.
The prefecture has also seen mass protest against the elocution of the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma was agreed on in 2006. Current plans envision the base to be closed by February 2019 and relocated within the Okinawa prefecture. Over 1.5 million square meters of the coastal maritime belt are expected to be filled as part of the relocation.
@BarackObama How do you feel about the murder case by a US marine soldier in Okinawa.— 最もまともなあにまろ (@Martialmobb) 19 мая 2016 г.
Following the incident, Tokyo demanded that Washington boost discipline at its military bases in Japan and assist in the investigation.