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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 July 15 - 21  > Met with protests, USFJ cancels off-base hotel quarantine arrangement
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2020 July 15 - 21 [US FORCES]

Met with protests, USFJ cancels off-base hotel quarantine arrangement

July 15 & 16, 2020
Akahata on July 14 learned that the U.S. Marine Corps will stop leasing an off-base hotel in Okinawa to quarantine its servicemen who came from outside Japan and Okinawa as part of its anti-coronavirus measures.

Accordingly, the personnel who came from overseas and from prefectures other than Okinawa due to personnel reshuffles will be quarantined on-base. However, those who are due to leave Okinawa and who test negative will use the hotel.

Japanese Communist Party member of the Chatan Town Assembly, Shingaki Chiaki said, "Because it is a personnel reshuffle among U.S. bases, they, even if testing negative, should refrain from using civilian hotels."

Okinawa Governor Tamaki Denny, accompanied by mayors of municipalities near the bases, visited the Defense Ministry, the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the Prime Minister's Office, and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo on July 15. They demanded that transfers of U.S. military personnel to Japan be prohibited until the coronavirus pandemic comes under control.

The governor pointed out that the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) makes it possible for the U.S. military to enter Japan without undergoing a quarantine as set under Japanese domestic law, and that this is a major factor for the ongoing spike in COVID-19 cases among the U.S. forces in Japan. He demanded that U.S. troops be subject to the domestic quarantine laws.

He added, "A rapid surge in COVID-19 infections among the U.S. forces in Japan is a shock to the local people living close to the U.S. bases."

Past related article:
> US military in Okinawa takes isolation measures at off-base hotel [July 12, 2020]
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