PCB storage found at U.S. Iwakuni Base

Akahata on May 9 reported that polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) is illegally stored at the U.S. Marine Corps Iwakuni Air Station in Yamaguchi Prefecture in western Japan.

This fact, which the U.S. Forces has kept secret, was revealed by Japanese Communist Party Yamaguchi Prefectural Assembly member Kume Keisuke on May 5.

The PCB storage site is located close to an oil tank near the runway in the southern section of the base. Monzen River runs only 300 meters from the storage site. A yellow plate reads "PCB STORAGE."

In May 2000, Kume revealed that the base has a hazardous waste site. In the June 2000 session of the prefectural assembly, he called on the prefectural government to take steps to disclose everything related to the storage and disposal of PCB waste at the U.S. base.

Despite efforts by the prefectural government which invoked contact with the central government, nothing was made clear on the PCB storage.

The March 1999 report of the U.S. Department of Defense on PCB waste stored at U.S. bases abroad said that 265.6 tons were stored in Japan in 1999.

Facing protest by citizens, they took back 100 tons of PCB waste stored at the U.S. Sagami Supply Depot in Kanagawa Pref. to the U.S. in May 1999 from Yokohama Port.

The JCP members group of the Yamaguchi Prefectural Assembly on May 8 called on the governor to take measures to make all information on the base's PCB waste available so that its disposal will be carried out in a safe manner. (end)