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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 April 1 - 7  > JCP Akamine demands information disclosure regarding the number of coronavirus cases among US troops in Japan
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2020 April 1 - 7 [POLITICS]

JCP Akamine demands information disclosure regarding the number of coronavirus cases among US troops in Japan

April 5 & 6, 2020

Japanese Communist Party representative Akamine Seiken criticized both the Japanese and U.S. governments for refusing to make public detailed information on the state of corona infections among U.S. forces stationed in Japan.

At a meeting of the House of Representatives Security Committee on April 3, Akamine noted that there are reportedly a considerable number of corona-positive U.S. servicemen in Japan, with many Japanese civilian employees working in U.S. bases and many U.S. soldiers living outside of U.S. bases.

Akamine stressed that the release of the information on the latest situation at each U.S. base is essential in effectively dealing with the coronavirus epidemic in Japan.

Suzuki Kazuhiro, the director-general of the North American Affairs Bureau at the Foreign Ministry, however, refused to publicize detailed information on U.S. bases by saying that Japan is not allowed to reveal any information other than the total number of infected U.S. personnel due to U.S. Pentagon guidelines.

Akamine in response said, "It should be the Japanese government that has the responsibility to deal with anti-corona countermeasures in Japan even on U.S. bases."

Akamine said, "When the first case of infection was found at the U.S. Kadena base in Okinawa on March 28, no information was provided to the local government despite the need of maintaining local public safety and health. The occurrence and frequency of coronavirus infections on U.S. military bases and installations in Japan should be made public because this is vital information linked to residents' safety and health." He added that all municipalities where U.S. military facilities are located are seeking input from the U.S. military, and again demanded that detailed information be shared without delay.

According to the U.S. Department of Defense, as of April 3, there are 1,648 U.S. troops, including family members and civilian employees, infected with the new coronavirus, and six have died.

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