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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 June 28 - July 4  > Defense Ministry admits to leaks of PFAS out of US Yokota Air Base
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2023 June 28 - July 4 [US FORCES]

Defense Ministry admits to leaks of PFAS out of US Yokota Air Base

June 30, 2023

The Defense Ministry on June 29 admitted to the fact that the leakage of cancer-causing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) occurred three times between 2010 and 2012 in the U.S. Yokota Air Base located in Tokyo’s Tama region.

This came out during a hearing held by the Japanese Communist Party on the day in regard to the issue in which PFAS substances have been detected in groundwater and in drinking water in areas surrounding the Yokota base. The JCP summoned the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Environment to the hearing as well.

Along with JCP Vice Chair Tamura Tomoko (Upper House), four JCP Dietmembers, JCP Tokyo Assemblypersons and JCP members in municipal assemblies in the Tama region took part in the hearing.

At the hearing, in response to a question about the amount of toxic chemicals leaked from the base, the Defense Ministry said that it has received no information from the U.S. military. Asked about a news report that three PFAS leakage incidents happened in 2020, the ministry said that it is confirming the report with the U.S. military.

The Environment Ministry said that in general, the seepage of leaked PFAS into groundwater reservoirs is possible, and expressed its intent to make fact-checking efforts in collaboration with the Defense Ministry.

JCP legislators demanded that the government urge the U.S. military to disclose information about the incidents. They also demanded that the government work to identify the cause of PFAS contamination in areas near the Yokota base.

Past related article:
> Meeting held to discuss PFAS problem in and near US bases in Japan [June 5, 2023]
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