Obama Scolded by Japanese Prime Minister on Okinawa Murder

By Jonathan Zhou
Jonathan Zhou
Jonathan Zhou
Jonathan Zhou is a tech reporter who has written about drones, artificial intelligence, and space exploration.
May 26, 2016 Updated: May 26, 2016

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe publicly criticized President Obama over the murder of a 20-year old woman on the island of Okinawa, where a US military base is located. 

“I firmly lodged a protest against President Obama as the Japanese Prime Minister with regard to the most recent case in Okinawa,” Abe said at a press conference. “The entire time for the small group discussion was spent on this specific case in Okinawa. And I feel profound resentment against this self-centered and absolutely despicable crime.”

The Japanese have long aired grievances about the conduct of U.S. service members stationed at the military bases, pointing to the string of murders and rapes that have occurred throughout the years, and many want the bases off Japan. 

The latest incident involves Kenneth Franklin Shinzato, a former marine employed as a contractor at Kadena Air Force Base. Franklin confessed to stabbing and strangling a 20-year old office worker on Okinawa, and he is also accused of rape. 

Obama said that he is “appalled by any violent crime that may have occurred or been carried out by any U.S. personnel or U.S. contractors.”

The press conference took place during the G-7 summit, during which Obama made a historic visit to Hiroshima, the first president in office to ever do so. 

Jonathan Zhou is a tech reporter who has written about drones, artificial intelligence, and space exploration.