Japan: US sailor kills woman, then self in Okinowa

Japan: US sailor kills woman, then self in Okinowa

NAHA, Japan (Kyodo) - A US serviceman and a Japanese woman were found dead Saturday at an apartment in the southern island prefecture of Okinawa, local police and the USA forces in Japan said.

The sailor was attached to the USA 3rd Marine Division, which has a base in Okinawa.

This photo shows an apartment where a US serviceman and a Japanese woman were found dead in Okinawa, southwestern Japan, on Saturday. Their deaths were confirmed later at the scene.

The woman's child was present when the incident occurred and called a relative, who then called police at 7:26 a.m., the spokesman said.

Police said a bloodstained knife was found in the apartment near the man and believe he killed the woman, and then stabbed himself.

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"This is an absolute tragedy and we are fully committed to supporting the investigation into the incident", the USA 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force, where the sailor was attached, said in a statement.

"This is an absolute tragedy and we are fully committed to supporting the investigation into the incident", the III Marine Expeditionary Force said in a statement.

AP said Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Takeo Akiba telephoned U.S. Ambassador William Hagerty, asking for cooperation with both the inquiry and efforts to prevent a recurrence.

Okinawa island hosts more than half of the 47,000 American military personnel based in Japan - a presence that has frustrated local residents with problems ranging from noise and military accidents to crime involving base residents.

Many Okinawans oppose the presence of USA troops on the small Pacific island due to associated crimes, noise, and environmental damage.

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