The top US military official in Okinawa has called on forces stationed there to exercise restraint following the death of a US serviceman and a Japanese woman.
A US serviceman who belonged to US Marine Corps in Okinawa and his girlfriend were found dead at a condominium in the town of Chatan in Okinawa on Saturday. Police suspect the man killed himself after fatally stabbing her.
NHK has learned that Lieutenant General Eric Smith, the chief of US forces in Okinawa who also serves as the commander of US Marines Corps stationed in Japan, sent a letter to unit leaders in Okinawa on Sunday.
In the letter, Smith said the incident has and will continue to cause strong feelings across Okinawa, and he wants US forces to demonstrate solidarity with their Okinawan neighbors.
He also said they should avoid going shopping or dining on the day of funeral. He stressed the orders were not a public relations stunt or some way to minimize the event, but a heartfelt way to stand with people of Okinawa.
Okinawa hosts the majority of US military facilities in Japan. Local residents have been frustrated by accidents and a series of crimes linked to US bases.