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National / Crime & Legal

Japanese woman arrested over stabbing death of U.S. airman in Tokyo

Staff Report

A Japanese woman has been arrested in connection with the stabbing death Friday of a U.S. airman in western Tokyo, media reports said.

The U.S. Air Force confirmed the death of the unidentified airman, who was assigned to the Yokota Air Base in the city of Fussa.

“A military member from the 374th Airlift Wing sustained serious injury and was pronounced dead at his off base residence today at approximately 8:42 p.m,” the air force said in a short statement. “The incident is under investigation and the name will be released pending next of kin notification.”

The man, who was in his 30s, had been stabbed with a knife in his neck and abdomen at his home in the city of Tachikawa, Kyodo News reported. He had been taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The woman, identified as Aria Saito, 27, was initially arrested on a charge of attempted murder, though police expected to upgrade the charge to murder after the victim had been pronounced dead. Saito had reportedly been in a rocky relationship with the airman, according to authorities.

Col. Otis Jones, commander of the 374th Airlift Wing, said in a statement posted to the wing’s official Facebook page that the military was looking into what had happened.

“Losing a member of our team is hard for all of us so I ask that you look out for each other and provide a hand when needed, especially on this very important holiday weekend,” he wrote. “Thank you for all you do and we will continue to keep you informed.”

The U.S. marks Veterans Day on Nov. 12.