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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 April 30 - May 13  > Japanese employees with no X-ray license urged to work at U.S. Yokota Air Base
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2008 April 30 - May 13 [US FORCES]

Japanese employees with no X-ray license urged to work at U.S. Yokota Air Base

May 10, 2008
Ignoring the Defense Ministry’s objections, the U.S. Air Force at the Yokota Air Base in Tokyo had unlicensed Japanese employees give x-rays to U.S. military personnel, a clear violation of Japanese law.

A Defense Ministry official revealed this in answer to questions by Japanese Communist Party representative Kasai Akira at the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee meeting on May 9.

The director of the Defense Ministry’s bureau for local cooperation, Jibiki Yoshiyuki said that in October 2006, the U.S. forces explained to the then Defense Agency (upgraded to a ministry in January 2007), that the dental squadron of the 374th Airlift Wing, assigned to dental treatment of U.S. military personnel and their family members, allowed unlicensed Japanese employees in that section to give x-rays to personnel on the base.

The following month, the Defense Agency requested the U.S. forces in Japan not to have Japanese base workers give x-rays, he added.

In defiance of the Japanese request, the U.S. forces in October 2007 again notified the ministry that it will carry out the training program at Yokota’s dental clinic.

The Ministry of Defense made representations to the U.S. forces again, but did not receive any answer.

After a media report in May 2008 that they had taken part in the x-ray training program, the U.S. side notified the ministry that it suspended it until the matter is resolved, Jibiki stated.

Under Japan’s Radiological Technologists Law, only licensed physicians, dentists and radiological technicians are allowed to take x-rays.

Japanese U.S. base workers are employed by the Ministry of Defense and are subject to Japanese domestic laws.

The JCP representative stated, “How weak-kneed the Japanese government is! The ministry must ban the U.S. forces from engaging in such an illegal act.”

Foreign Minister Komura Masahiko answered, “We’ll not make any arrangements in violation of domestic laws.” - Akahata, May 10, 2008
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