TOKYO (AP) — A U.S. military contractor charged with raping and murdering a 20-year-old woman in Japan has asked that his trial be moved outside Okinawa, saying he may not receive a fair trial on the southern island where opposition to U.S. bases is high.
Kenneth Shinzato, a former Marine who is a contractor at Kadena Air Base, was arrested in May when the victim's body was found. He has been in custody since.
His lawyer, Toshimitsu Takaesu, said Wednesday he has asked for the venue to be changed to Tokyo because a local jury is likely to be prejudiced, and to allow Shinzato a proper translator and mental examination.
The case has triggered outrage and rekindled anti-American military sentiment on Okinawa, where residents resent a heavy U.S. troop presence.