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2014 February 12 - 18 [OKINAWA]

JCP Okinawa: state should clean up toxic waste at former US base site

February 14, 2014
The Japanese Communist Party Okinawa Prefectural Committee on February 13 demanded that the Okinawa Defense Bureau remove the toxic waste found in a former U.S. military base site.

In June last year, Okinawa City discovered chemical drums buried at a construction site for a city soccer field, which had been a part of the U.S. Kadena Air Base. On the side of the drums, it was written, “The Dow Chemical Co.”, the name of the major supplier of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.

Another 61 drums were found in a follow-up investigation by the Okinawa Defense Bureau, and the total number of drums found at the site has reached 83.

From the soil of the site, the Okinawa City government detected dioxin, which is the main ingredient of Agent Orange, 8.4 times higher than the allowable national environmental standards.

JCP Okinawa Prefectural Assembly member Kayo Sogi and JCP members of the Okinawa City Assembly Ikehara Hideaki and Maemiya Mitsuko visited the bureau office and demanded that the state establish an investigation team which includes independent experts and pay for the decontamination cost.

The official in response said it will release the results of its investigation as soon as it is completed.

Maesato Tamotsu, who is in charge of the U.S. base issue in the JCP Okinawa Committee, said, “The Defense Ministry has the responsibility to install a joint investigation team consisting of the state, prefecture, and city to thoroughly investigate this matter.”

Past related articles
> Buried drums point to Agent Orange having been stored at US base in Okinawa [June 23, 2013]
> U.S. is said to have used Agent Orange in Okinawa [July 11, 2007]
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