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YOKOHAMA, Japan — The hearing in the civil lawsuit filed by the fiance and two sons of a Japanese woman beaten to death by a USS Kitty Hawk sailor last year continued Wednesday.

The plaintiffs’ attorneys told the court they will provide a list of possible witnesses they plan to call — including Yoshie Sato’s fiance, Masanori Yamazaki — by the next hearing on Oct. 17.

The attorney also made a statement supporting the family’s claim that the Japanese government and U.S. Navy didn’t take proper action after a rash of alcohol-related incidents by servicemembers.

Yamazaki and Sato’s sons are seeking 200 million yen (about $1.6 million) in compensation from the Japanese government and William Oliver Reese, the sailor convicted of killing the 56-year-old woman Jan. 3, 2006.

According to the police documents, Reese dragged Sato off the street, beat her for more than 10 minutes and took 15,000 yen (about $130) from her purse. Sato died from internal injuries. Reese pleaded guilty to robbery and homicide and was sentenced to life in prison June 2, 2006.

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Hana Kusumoto is a reporter/translator who has been covering local authorities in Japan since 2002. She was born in Nagoya, Japan, and lived in Australia and Illinois growing up. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and previously worked for the Christian Science Monitor’s Tokyo bureau.
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