TOKYO — A United States Navy sailor and a Japanese girl have been discovered lifeless on the Japanese island of Okinawa in what the police are investigating as a murder-suicide.
The Japanese Overseas Ministry mentioned in a press release that the sailor appeared to have fatally stabbed the girl after which killed himself with the identical knife.
The sailor, 32, and the girl, 44, had been discovered by the Okinawa police on Saturday in an condo in Chatan, a village on the island’s southwestern coast, in line with NHK, the general public broadcaster, and the native information media. They haven’t been publicly recognized.
About 25,000 American troops are stationed on Okinawa, half of all American troopers based mostly in Japan. Violence dedicated by American service members or associated personnel on the island has lengthy brought about friction between Washington and Tokyo.
Takeo Akiba, the vice minister of overseas affairs, protested to William F. Hagerty, the US ambassador to Japan, in a telephone name on Saturday, mentioned Takeshi Osuga, a spokesman for the Overseas Ministry.
Mr. Akiba described the deaths as “extraordinarily regrettable.” In keeping with the Overseas Ministry, Mr. Hagerty mentioned the US would absolutely cooperate with the investigation and “do all the pieces we are able to do to forestall such a case from taking place once more.”
The police acquired an pressing name round 7:25 a.m. on Saturday from the daddy of the lifeless girl’s younger daughter, who was discovered unhurt within the condo, mentioned Ichiro Kyan, vice director of the investigation group of the Okinawa Prefectural Police. Mr. Kyan mentioned the police would verify how the 2 folks died after autopsies had been performed.
“That is an absolute tragedy and we’re absolutely dedicated to supporting the investigation into the incident,” mentioned First Lt. David Mancilla, a spokesman for the US Marine Corps in Okinawa. “At the moment, the Naval Felony Investigative Service is in assist of the Okinawa Prefectural Police.”
Okinawa residents have protested the heavy presence of United States army forces on the island, and crimes dedicated by American troopers or associated personnel have ignited deep anger.
In 2017, an Okinawa court docket sentenced a former United States Marine, Kenneth Franklin Shinzato, to life in jail after convicting him of the rape and homicide of Rina Shimabukuro, a 20-year-old Japanese girl.
On the time of the killing, Mr. Shinzato, who served within the Marines from 2007 to 2014, was a civilian working for a contract firm on Kadena Air Base, an American army set up on the island.
The connection between Okinawa, the US and the federal government of Japan is fraught. Final yr, Denny Tamaki, the son of a Japanese girl and a United States Marine, received an in depth election for governor of Okinawa through which he opposed plans by Japanese and American officers to switch a busy Marine air base from one a part of the island to a different, saying it must be moved out of Okinawa altogether.
The island’s voters rejected the switch plan in a February referendum, however the central authorities mentioned development of the brand new base would proceed.