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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 September 30 - October 6  > Yokohama JCP: US military should return its site after clean-up of contamination
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2015 September 30 - October 6 [US FORCES]

Yokohama JCP: US military should return its site after clean-up of contamination

September 30, 2015
Japanese Communist Party member of the Yokohama City Assembly Furuya Yasuhiko said that U.S. forces should be responsible for cleaning up the chemical contamination recently found on the premises of a former U.S. communication site in the city.

The U.S. military in June last year returned its former Fukaya Communication Site (7.7 ha) to the Japanese government. The Defense Ministry investigated the premises for the existence of contamination.

The Defense Ministry on September 28 reported the investigation results to the Yokohama City Assembly special committee on U.S. bases. The ministry said that it detected asbestos in 21 buildings and PCBs at electricity-related facilities. They are both known to be carcinogenic.

Under the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), the U.S. Forces Japan has no obligation to restore its sites to their original condition before returning them to Japan.

JCP Furuya in a committee meeting said that the U.S. military acts like an occupation force as it is allowed to abandon its facilities ignoring laws. He cited that when a U.S. oil storage site in Yokohama was returned, the city government had to shoulder the cost of restoring the site to its previous state, including the work of demolishing and properly disposing of 40 oil tanks. Furuya argued that the responsibility of these tasks should be placed on the U.S.
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