On the 19th of June 2016 approximately 65,000 people have taken part in a rally to protest US military personnel crimes in Okinawa following the killing of a 20-year old Japanese girl.
In late May, former US Marine Kenneth Franklin Shinzato was arrested in Okinawa on suspicion of stabbing and strangling a 20-year-old Japanese woman near US Kadena Air Base. Rina Shimabukuro disappeared on April 28 and was later found dead in a forest. Franklin has reportedly admitted to raping her and committing the murder.
In an emotional letter read out during a march on the island, the victim’s father said, for the local people’s protection, all United States military bases on Japan’s Okinawa prefecture had to go. “Why my daughter? Why was my daughter killed?” the letter read. “To avoid [another] victim, I want all US bases removed… I believe it’s possible if all the people of Okinawa come together.”
In early June, a US servicewoman from the Kadena Air Base injured two people in a reported drunk driving incident.
The protesters signed a petition calling for the withdrawal of US marines corps from Okinawa, which contained the figures taken from Japanese police, the Kyodo news agency reported. A total of 571 incidents fell under the category of serious crimes, according to the petition.