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U.S. service member kills girlfriend, commits suicide in Okinawa

Mainichi, Nikkei, and Sankei carried brief reports on Sunday saying that a U.S. Navy sailor and his Japanese girlfriend were found dead in an apartment in Chatan, Okinawa, on Saturday morning. The service member apparently stabbed the woman and then killed himself. The U.S. Marines Corps in Okinawa told Kyodo that the man was attached to the Third Marine Division and that the Marines were cooperating fully with the investigation. Vice Foreign Minister Akiba reportedly spoke with Ambassador Hagerty on Saturday to protest the incident and ask the U.S. side to cooperate with the investigation and take measures to tighten the U.S. Forces’ discipline and prevent a recurrence. Nikkei quoted the Ambassador as pledging to “cooperate fully” with the investigation and “do everything possible” to prevent such an incident from happening again.

 

Mainichi and Sankei reported online on Sunday evening that Governor Tamaki told reporters that he expressed to the U.S. Marine Corps and III Marine Expeditionary Force commander, Lt. Gen. Eric Smith, his “deep sorrow and strong indignation” at the loss of the life of an Okinawan citizen. Smith had reportedly phoned Tamaki on Saturday evening and promised full cooperation with the Okinawa police’s investigation.

The two papers also reported online that Okinawa Affairs Minister Miyakoshi told reporters in Naha on Sunday that the incident was “truly regrettable” and that he will demand that the U.S. side take thorough measures to tighten discipline.

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