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Okinawa vice governor urges U.S. forces to investigate source of chemicals in local rivers

  • 2016-02-23 15:00:00
  • , Tokyo Shimbun
  • Translation

(Tokyo Shimbun: February 23, 2016 – p. 2)

 

 Okinawa Vice Gov. Mitsuo Ageda met on Feb. 22 with Dwayne M. Robinson, 18th Civil Engineer Group commander, at the U.S Kadena Air Base. In the meeting, Ageda called for the U.S. military to conduct an investigation to determine the source of chemical substances detected in rivers in the vicinity of the base. The use of the chemicals is prohibited by law. Robinson said to Ageda: “We understand the seriousness of the situation. I will convey this matter to the headquarters of USFJ.” Ageda disclosed to reporters after the meeting.

 

 The Okinawa prefectural government conducted a water quality inspection from February 2014 through November 2015 in which it detected organic fluorine compounds that are used as aircraft fuel. The substance was detected in nine locations, including water purification facilities that take in water from rivers around the Kadena Air Base. According to the prefectural government, the chemicals were detected at a concentration that would have no impact on human health.

 

 During the meeting, Ageda proposed setting up an investigative team of representatives from the prefecture and the U.S. military. Robinson reportedly explained that the base has not used fire-extinguishing agents that contain the same chemicals since 2011.

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