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Thousands in Okinawa Demand U.S. Military Leave Japan After Killing

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About 65,000 people on Sunday held a protest in Okinawa, Japan, to pressure U.S. military bases to leave the country after a former Marine was arrested in connection with the rape and killing of a local woman.

The protesters wore black to mourn the woman as they demanded Japanese officials to review the U.S.-Japanese security agreement, which allows for the continued presence of U.S. military bases in Japan, the Associated Press reports.

The woman’s body was found last month. A U.S. contractor, who is a former Marine, was arrested last month on suspicion of abandoning her body. However, he has not yet been charged with killing her, according to the AP.

Read More: The Tense Relationship Between Japan and the U.S. Military

In 1995, three American servicemen raped a girl, which also sparked outrage at the time. Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga referred to the tragedy when addressing the crowd at the protest on Sunday. “We had pledged never to repeat such an incident,” he said, the AP reports. “I couldn’t change the political system to prevent that. That is my utmost regret as a politician and as governor of Okinawa.”


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