A US serviceman fatally stabbed a Japanese woman and then killed himself in Okinawa on Saturday, Japan's Foreign Ministry said, amid growing resentment about the presence of American troops in the southwestern Japanese region.
The sailor was attached to the U.S. 3rd Marine Division, which has a base in Okinawa.
The Japanese police reportedly found the dead pair in a six-story apartment building in the Kuwae district of Chatan, a town on the western coast of Okinawa. US Marine Corps leaders said they were aware of the deaths and will support the ongoing investigation.
The woman's child, who was also in the apartment, was not hurt, police said.
U.S. Forces Japan said the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) was working with local police to look into the deaths of a Navy sailor assigned to a Marine unit and an Okinawa resident.
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The sailor and the woman, who was in her 40s, were apparently in a relationship, the Okinawa police spokesman said.
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.
Okinawa, the southernmost of Japan's bigger islands, hosts about half of the 54,000 United States troops stationed in Japan while amounting to only 1 percent of the country's territory.
Local residents have always been frustrated with noise, accidents and crimes linked to the bases there.