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Japan says US serviceman kills woman, self in Okinawa

15 April 2019

A United States serviceman and a Japanese woman were found dead at an apartment in Okinawa on Saturday (April 13), police said, with the man reportedly suspected of killing the woman before taking his own life.

The two were found dead Saturday morning inside a six-story apartment building in the Kuwae district of Chatan, according to an Okinawa Prefectural Police spokesman. US Marine Corps leaders said they were aware of the deaths and will support the ongoing investigation.

The 32-year-old soldier and the 44-year-old woman, were found bleeding at the apartment on the southern Japanese island, a police spokesman said.

U.S. Forces Japan says the Naval Criminal Investigative Service is working with local police to look into the deaths Saturday of a U.S. Navy sailor assigned to a marine unit, and an Okinawa resident.

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Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Takeo Akiba telephoned U.S. Ambassador William Hagerty, asking for cooperation with the investigation and efforts to prevent a recurrence, and expressed "extreme regrets", according to the ministry.

Akiba said he was "extremely disappointed" by the events and asked for USA cooperation in the probe and efforts to stop this tragedy from repeating itself.

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

Okinawa, the southernmost of Japan's bigger islands, hosts about half of the 54,000 USA troops stationed in Japan while amounting to only 1 percent of the country's territory.

Japan says US serviceman kills woman, self in Okinawa