A former U.S. Marine has been sentenced to life in prison for raping and killing a 20-year-old Japanese woman.
The crime sparked huge demonstrations against US military bases in Okinawa Prefecture and fueled calls for a reduction in the prefecture's burden of hosting the bulk of USA military facilities in Japan.
Shinzato, a former Marine from 2007 to 2014, was on the base working as a civilian contractor when he allegedly raped and murdered Rina Shimabukuro and abandoned her body in a village.
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According to the indictment, Shinzato clubbed the woman in the back of her head while she was walking in Uruma on the night of April 28, 2016.
Okinawa is home to the largest Marine base outside the U.S. Shinzato worked at Kadena Base, where more than 20,000 U.S. service members and their families, as well as Japanese civilians live and work.
A panel in Naha District Court handed down the sentence to Shinzato, with Judge Toshihiro Shibata saying there was no room for leniency. Her body was found three weeks later.
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U.S, military newspaper Stars and Stripes named the killer as Kenneth Franklin Gadson and said he went by his Japanese wife's surname of Shinzato.
The killing, which drew the attention of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, overshadowed Barack Obama's trip to the country previous year, during which he visited Hiroshima.
Okinawa hosts around 50,000 USA nationals, including 30,000 military personnel and civilians employed at the bases.
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A spate of crimes committed by United States servicemen against local citizens has worsened the tension. Opponents want the air station completely removed from the island.
Half of about 50,000 American troops stationed in Japan are on Okinawa.
There has been a strong US military presence in Japan since World War II, BBC said, and their presence has been met with increasing resentment from community members.
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