US military worker wants his murder trial moved off Okinawa

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...

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              FILE - In this May 20, 2016, file photo, police officers escort Kenneth Shinzato, center, an American working on a U.S. military base in Okinawa, out of Uruma Police Station in Uruma on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa to turn him over to the public prosecutor's office on suspicion of abandoning the body of a woman who disappeared in April 2016. The U.S. military contractor charged with raping and murdering a 20-year-old woman has requested his trial to be moved outside Okinawa, saying he may not have a fair trial on the southern island where he is already seen as guilty. His lawyer Toshimitsu Takaesu said Wednesday, July 6, 2016, that he asked a venue changed to Tokyo to allow Shinzato to have an adequate translator and an expert for a mental examination.(Ryosuke Ozawa/Kyodo News via AP, File)

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.

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