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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 June 24 - 30  > Okinawa JCP protests against fire accident at US base
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2020 June 24 - 30 [US FORCES]

Okinawa JCP protests against fire accident at US base

June 24, 2020

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Akamine Seiken and the JCP Okinawa Prefectural Committee on June 23 made representations to the Defense Ministry’s Okinawa Defense Bureau in regard to the fire on the previous day at a hazardous materials warehouse in the U.S. Kadena Air Base. They also protested against the delay in notification of the fire by the U.S. military to the Japanese authorities.

The JCP urged the defense bureau to conduct on-site inspections of the accident and disclose the investigation results, including the cause of the accident.

In response, Defense Ministry officials only repeated that the ministry is requesting the U.S. forces to provide further information.

Akamine said, “Yet again the U.S. military was slow to provide the initial report.” JCP member of the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly Senaga Misao said, “The defense bureau has no intent to find out what kind of hazardous materials are stored at the base. With this stance, how can you protect Okinawans’ lives and safety?”

JCP assemblyperson of Chatan Town, one of three municipalities hosting the Kadena base, Shingaki Chiaki, stressed, “Depending on wind direction, the fire could have posed a threat to townspeople. But there was no evacuation advice from either the defense bureau or the U.S. military.”

According to the information from the U.S. military, 45 persons on the base reported that their throats were damaged by the smoke from the fire. There is a possibility that chlorine gas was released in the incident and it is known that chemicals are kept in the storehouse.

Past related article:
> Fire occurs at hazmat facility in US Kadena base in Okinawa [June 23, 2020]
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