U.S forces to send PCB-contaminated materials back to U.S.

The U.S. Embassy in Japan announced on August 28 that it is considering transporting all materials containing toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) currently stored at U.S. military facilities in Japan to the United States.

The PCB-contaminated materials, 3,100 tons in total, are managed at 15 U.S. military facilities in Japan, including the U.S. Kadena Air Base in Okinawa.

It became a big problem in 1999 when an enormous amount of PCB waste was found at the U.S. Sagami General Depot in Sagamihara City, Kanagawa Prefecture. In 2000, the U.S. Forces in Japan attempted to send part of the waste to the U.S. and Canada. However, local municipalities rejected to unloading of these harmful materials so they were brought back to Yokohama Port.

The Japanese Communist Party in the Diet demanded that the U.S. government responsibly dispose of these harmful wastes. (end)