National

U.S. unlikely to pay family of woman slain by civilian base worker in Okinawa

JIJI

The U.S. military appears unlikely to compensate the family of a Japanese woman slain in Okinawa Prefecture in 2016 by a civilian U.S. base worker, it has been learned.

In December, Kenneth Shinzato, 34, was sentenced to life in prison by the Naha District Court for murdering the woman, then 20, in Uruma. He has appealed.

In January, the court ordered Shinzato to pay the family compensation, but he does not have the financial means to do so, a court filing seen Friday says.

The Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement says Japan has the right to demand compensation for illegal acts committed by U.S. military personnel even when they are not performing official duties. If they are financially unable to do so, the U.S. government is required to make payment instead. But the U.S. military says the rules do not apply in this case because Shinzato was employed by a private company at the time of the crime.

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