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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 March 28 - April 3  > U.S. forces concealed toxic substance leaks at U.S. Yokota Base
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2007 March 28 - April 3 [US FORCES]

U.S. forces concealed toxic substance leaks at U.S. Yokota Base

March 30, 2007
At the U.S. Yokota Air Base and its related facilities, 90 cases of leaked jet fuel and other toxic substances occurred between 1999 and 2006, documents released under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act reportedly revealed.

At an Upper House Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting on March 29, Vice Foreign Minister Asano Katsuhito, in answer to a question asked by Japanese Communist Party representative Ogata Yasuo, said that the government has made an inquiry to the U.S. government about this information and will report on the U.S. reply to the Diet.

Among the 90 accidents, the U.S. forces reported to Japan only one case that had occurred at the Tokorozawa communication facility in Saitama Prefecture in August 2004.

Asano said, “The Japan-U.S. Joint Committee set a standard for accidents by the U.S. forces to report to Japan”, indicating that the U.S. forces are not obliged to report such accidents that are below the standard.

Ogata said that it is unacceptable that the U.S. forces have the authority to decide whether or not they have to report each accident to Japan. Emphasizing the seriousness of the issue that residents living around U.S. bases have not been informed of so many accidents, he demanded that the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee review the agreement.
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