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Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday was deeply critical of a case involving the arrest of a retired Marine in connection with a Japanese woman's death.
"I feel profound resentment for this self-centered and despicable crime," Abe told reporters after meeting with President Barack Obama on the eve of a gathering of leaders from the Group of Seven advanced economies. "This case has shocked not just Okinawa but all of Japan."
Obama said the U.S. will cooperate fully with Japan's investigation into the recent case. Kenneth Franklin Shinzato, 32, a civilian employee at the Kadena Air Base and a retired Marine, was arrested and charged with disposing of the body of Rina Shimabukuro, 20.
Her body was found in a forest in the northern part of the island late Thursday. Shimabukuro disappeared last month after texting her boyfriend about her plans to take an evening stroll.
Obama on Wednesday called the crime "appalling."
"I extended my sincerest condolences and deepest regrets. The United States will continue to cooperate fully with the investigation and ensure justice is done under the Japanese legal system," Obama told reporters.
Abe, who will accompany Obama to Hiroshima on Friday to lay a wreath at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, said the first visit to the site by an American president carries deep significance.
"I welcome the decision by president Obama to visit Hiroshima," Abe said. "The upcoming visit will no doubt create further powerful momentum toward creating a world without nuclear weapons."
Obama visited the region, his tenth such visit during his presidency, as part of his administration's continued pivot to strengthening regional cooperation on economic, trade and security matters.Vietnam and Japan want reassurances about a sweeping multinational trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which has met with congressional skepticism.
On Monday, Obama announced the lifting of a 50-year arms embargo on Vietnam and move that is expected to anger China in the increasingly tense dispute over regions in the South China Sea.