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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 January 12 - 18  > Amid public criticism for causing omicron surge, US Navy destroyer’s call at Otaru Port cancelled
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2022 January 12 - 18 [US FORCES]

Amid public criticism for causing omicron surge, US Navy destroyer’s call at Otaru Port cancelled

January 9 & 13, 2022
With “U.S. military-derived” omicron infections surging in U.S. base-hosting prefectures of Okinawa and Yamaguchi, the U.S. Navy on January 11 announced the cancellation of the planned visit to Otaru Port in Hokkaido by the guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale.

In Otaru City, public opposition to the U.S. Navy destroyer’s port call plan has mounted as it came to light that the U.S. military did not require its personnel assigned to Japan to have a PCR test before their departure for Japan.

Four days before the cancellation, a group of Japanese Communist Party members of the Sapporo City Assembly urged the city mayor to request the U.S. military to cancel the destroyer’s visit to Otaru Port, expressing their concern that USS Stockdale crewmembers could create an omicron wave of infections in Hokkaido if allowed to go outside the vessel for sightseeing.

Meanwhile, following the U.S. Navy’s announcement, the JCP Otaru City Assemblymembers’ group on January 12 issued a statement.

In the statement, the JCP lawmakers’ group pointed out that they in December last year requested the city mayor not to approve the U.S. Navy destroyer’s planned visit to Otaru. As the reason, the JCP pointed out that Okinawa, Yamaguchi, and Yamaguchi’s neighboring prefecture of Hiroshima are experiencing an omicron surge mainly due to the community transmission on U.S. military bases.

The JCP group in its statement noted that under the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement, U.S. military personnel are exempted from the application of Japan’s domestic laws regarding immigration control and alien registration. The JCP pointed out that Japan appears to be still under U.S. occupation, which is unacceptable.

Past related article:
> Japan gov't under Japan-US alliance still insists that omicron infections are not spreading from US bases [January 6, 7, & 9, 2022]

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