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US serviceman, Japanese woman found dead in Okinawa

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By Agence France-Presse

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

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.

“They both had stab wounds and their deaths were confirmed later,” the spokesman said.

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

Kyodo news agency, quoting US military sources, said the man, who was believed to be in a relationship with the woman, may have killed her and then committed suicide.

The man, whose name was withheld, is believed to be with the US Navy, assigned to the US Marine Corps in Okinawa, Kyodo added.

Japan’s vice foreign minister Takeo Akiba called US Ambassador to Japan William Hagerty Saturday, when he described the case as “extremely regrettable” and sought cooperation for the investigation, the ministry said in a statement.

It said Hagerty had promised his “full” support.

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