US airman in Japan dies in stabbing; Japanese woman arrested


TOKYO (AP) — The U.S. Air Force says a U.S. airman in Japan has been stabbed and later died at a hospital. Japanese police say they have arrested a suspect, a Japanese woman.

The Air Force said in a statement that 35-year-old Master Sgt. Nicholas Vollweiler, from the 374th Airlift Wing, was found unconscious in his off-base home with stab wounds Friday.

Japanese police identified the suspect as 27-year-old Aria Saito. They said she was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, allegedly stabbing Vollweiler in the neck.

'He will be dearly missed by our community'

Japanese media said Saito was telling police she killed Vollweiler because she did not want to end their relationship, and she intended to kill herself afterward.

Police and the U.S. military declined to comment on the reports.

"He will be dearly missed by our community," Col. Otis Jones, commander of the 374th Airlift Wing, said of Vollweiler.

"His family, friends, fellow defenders and all of the Yokota community are in our prayers during this heartbreaking time," he added, referring to Yokota Air Base, near Tokyo.

The Air Force and the police are working together on the investigation. About 54,000 American troops are stationed in Japan under a bilateral security alliance.