Police in Japan question US sailor after two women were stabbed near naval base

Japanese police were questioning an American sailor Thursday after two women were stabbed near a naval base south of Tokyo, officials and news reports said.

A woman in her 20s was seriously injured but conscious after she was slashed in the back in Yokosuka, local police official Itaru Yamaguchi said. Another woman in her teens was slightly injured after being kicked or stabbed in the stomach in the same incident, he said.

A construction worker notified the police Thursday morning after the younger woman came out of a building looking for help, and the injured pair were taken to a hospital, Yamaguchi said. He could not confirm the nationalities of the women.

Kyodo News agency said the sailor stabbed the two women after arguing with them at an apartment in Yokosuka. Police later found the man at a department store and took him in for questioning, the report said citing unnamed police officials.

Yamaguchi said the American, who is assigned to Yokosuka naval base, was being questioned at Uraga police station. He did not provide the sailor's name.

The U.S. navy in Japan confirmed that a seaman recruit has been under Japanese police questioning and the navy was cooperating with the police, according to Yoko Kato, a spokeswoman for the base.

She declined to disclose the name of the man, saying he has not been indicted.

Yamaguchi also could not confirm the nationalities of the women or provide further details.