Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 April 15 - 21  > Okinawa prefectural assembly adopts statement protesting against leakage of toxic fire foam from US base
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2020 April 15 - 21 [US FORCES]

Okinawa prefectural assembly adopts statement protesting against leakage of toxic fire foam from US base

April 17, 2020
The Okinawa Prefectural Assembly special committee on U.S. base issues on April 16 unanimously adopted a statement protesting against a recent incident in which a flood of toxic firefighting foam leaked out of the U.S. Futenma base.

Six days earlier, a total of 227 kiloliters of fire foam containing the carcinogenic organic fluorine compound PFOS were accidentally discharged from storage on the U.S. Futenma base located in Ginowan City. Of the total, 144 kiloliters, which can fill 719 200-liter drum cans, flowed into canals and rivers outside the base. The foam was dispersed by winds and contaminated residential areas near the base.

After the adoption of the statement, Special Committee Chair Nakasone Satoru and Prefectural Assembly Chair Shinzato Yonekichi at a press conference said that they decided to issue the written protest under the name of the special committee chair in order to avoid holding a plenary meeting of the assembly as part of anti-coronavirus efforts. Nakasone said that the committee will submit the statement to the U.S. military in the prefecture and the local bureau of Japan’s Defense Ministry.

The statement points out that prior to the latest incident, the U.S. military caused a leakage accident of PFOS-containing fire foam in December 2019 despite the fact that the U.S. military had explained to the Japanese government that it stopped using this carcinogenic type of firefighting foam in 2016. The statement stresses that this latest accident has further fueled Okinawans’ anger against and distrust of the U.S. military. It underscores the need to thoroughly investigate the cause of the accident, make clear the responsibilities of the U.S. military and the Japanese government, and take measures to prevent the recurrence.

The statement also points out that it is urgently necessary to clean up the foam and carry out health checkups of local people, including firefighters who engaged in clean-up activities. In addition, the statement demanded that the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement be revised so that local authorities can conduct on-site investigations on the Futenma base pertaining to the accident. It concludes by stating that the U.S. Futenma base should be closed down and removed.

Past related article:
> US Kadena AB leaked harmful materials 13 times over 6 years [ April 25, 2016]
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved