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HOME  > Past issues  > 2010 June 2 - 8  > US Marines use white phosphorus shells at Yausubetsu
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2010 June 2 - 8 [US FORCES]

US Marines use white phosphorus shells at Yausubetsu

June 5, 2010
The Okinawa-based U.S. Marine Corps may be using white phosphorus shells in their live-fire exercises at the Self-Defense Forces’ Yausubetsu training site in Hokkaido.

Since the drill began on May 28, members of the Yausubetsu Peace Committee have been conducting a monitoring action from a private farm, which is actually surrounded by the SDF site. About 430 Marines, involving 12 batteries and about 100 military vehicles have been visually confirmed, suggesting that the latest drill is the largest ever among the past 11 training exercises, the local activists said.

From the 12 batteries, 155mm-howitzers have been repeatedly fired everyday. The bombardment has continued into the night and even flare bombs have been used.

According to the local peace committee, two wildfires have occurred within the training site. White phosphorus shells probably caused these fires, the local activists pointed out.

The Marines fired 39 shells (thought to be white phosphorus) on June 3 alone. As soon as they exploded in the air with a bright flash, these explosions produced a large number of flaming balls that fell to the ground, said the people in the watching action.

A white phosphorus shell can burn not only skin but also burn right down to the bone due to the 5,000-degree heat produced when it touches a human body. The U.S. forces reportedly used this inhumane weapon against innocent civilians in Fallujah, Iraq.
- Akahata, June 5, 2010
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