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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 October 5 - 11  > US Naval Forces Japan head apologizes for PFOS-tainted water discharge from Yokosuka base
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2022 October 5 - 11 [US FORCES]

US Naval Forces Japan head apologizes for PFOS-tainted water discharge from Yokosuka base

October 9, 2022

The commander of the U.S. Naval Forces Japan, in response to a formal protest lodged by the Yokosuka City mayor, on October 6 apologized for the discharge of water contaminated with organic fluorine compounds, such as PFOS and PFAS, from the U.S. Yokosuka Naval base into the ocean.

Four days earlier, Japanese Communist Party member of the Yokosuka City Assembly Omura Yoko at an assembly meeting pressed the mayor to file the protest.

The commander, at the meeting with Mayor Kamiji Katsuaki, expressed his regret that the discharge incident made Yokosuka citizens feel uneasy, and explained preventive measures which include a plan to install activated carbon filters to outlets at the base.

The mayor requested that the commander accept a demand for an on-site investigation by the Japanese government based on the environmental supplementary accord to the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement. In response, the commander said, “I’ll work to realize the demand in cooperation with the two governments.”

The commander updated the information regarding the August 29 sampling survey, and reported that the hazardous compounds of 11,100 nanograms, 222 times greater than the Environment Ministry-set allowable limit, were detected in wastewater samples surveyed on the day. He also reported that the total PFOS/PFOA levels ranged from 35ng to 253ng were found in samples collected on August 30 at outlets on the base.

Commenting on the newly reported figures, JCP Omura said, “I worry that what happened in Yokosuka City may happen to other U.S. base-hosting municipalities across Japan. It is necessary to investigate U.S. bases in Japan regarding the contaminated water leakage issue.”
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