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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 May 20 - 26  > Gov’t should use quarantine data of US forces in Japan to protect Japanese people’s lives and health: JCP Kokuta
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2020 May 20 - 26 [POLITICS]

Gov’t should use quarantine data of US forces in Japan to protect Japanese people’s lives and health: JCP Kokuta

May 23, 2020
Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Kokuta Keiji on May 22 at a House of Representatives committee meeting demanded that the government instruct local quarantine stations to keep data regarding quarantine cases carried out at U.S. bases in Japan and utilize these data to protect Japanese people’s lives and health.

At the Lower House Foreign Affairs Committee meeting, Kokuta referred to documents regarding quarantine carried out at the U.S. Misawa base (Aomori Pref.) and the U.S. Iwakuni base (Yamaguchi Pref.) in accordance with the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement. Kokuta obtained the documents from Japanese local quarantine stations covering regions where the two U.S. bases are located.

The documents supposedly provided data regarding quarantine measures implemented at the Misawa and Iwakuni bases between April 2018 and March 2019. However, everything on the documents was blacked out except for the title and column headings.

Grilled by Kokuta, State Minister of Health Hashimoto Gaku admitted that the documents recorded data regarding quarantine measures by the U.S. military based on the 1996 Japan-U.S. Joint Committee Agreement.

Kokuta touched on local quarantine stations’ rules on document retention periods. He pointed out that quarantine stations in Tokyo and Okinawa, which receive quarantine reports from the U.S. Yokota base and the U.S. Kadena base respectively, do not apply their retention period rules to the U.S. military’s report. In response, Hashimoto only said whether to keep the data or not is left to each station’s discretion.

Referring to the frequent arrivals of U.S. military-chartered flights at the Yokota base and the Kadena base, Kokuta said that the government should supervise local quarantine stations’ storage of data regarding cases of quarantine at U.S. military facilities in order to protect Japanese people’s lives and health.

Past related article:
>Despite ongoing coronavirus crisis, US military-chartered aircraft regularly arrive at US bases in Japan [May 14, 2020]
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