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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 June 19 - 25  > Akamine urges gov't to conduct on-site inspections of US bases for presence of toxic water
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2019 June 19 - 25 [POLITICS]

Akamine urges gov't to conduct on-site inspections of US bases for presence of toxic water

June 20, 2019

Japanese Communist Party representative Akamine Seiken demanded that the central government respond to Okinawa's request and initiate on-site inspections of U.S. military bases in Okinawa in regard to water pollution in and around the bases.

At a meeting of the Lower House Security Committee on June 18, Akamine took up the issue of high concentrations of orgnofluoric compounds PFOS and PFOA having been detected in the rivers and springwater near the U.S. Kadena and Futenma bases in Okinawa.

Since January 2016, the Okinawa prefectural government has been calling for on-site investigations in order to determine the source of contamination, but so far, no such investigation has been conducted.

Akamine pointed out that according to a U.S. report the deputy assistant secretary of defense submitted to the U.S. Congress in March 2018, the U.S. Defense Department conducted sampling surveys to check the extent of contamination at 2,542 out of 3,266 U.S. military facilities both inside and outside the Unites States.

He said, "It is unreasonable for the Okinawa government to not be able to make on-the-spot measurements for toxins while the U.S. DoD conducts a comprehensive investigation."

Foreign Minister Kono Taro in response only said, "We will do what we can do."

Kono told Akimine that Japan shares the findings of the U.S. investigations. However, the chief of the Foreign Ministry's North American Affairs Bureau refused to submit the result of the U.S. investigations to the Diet by saying, "Japan does not obtain the consent of the U.S. authorities."

Past related article:
> Water around US bases in Okinawa contaminated with PFOS/PFOA [May 30, 2019]
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