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Japanese access to U.S. military bases for environmental surveys forestalled

Mainichi published a prominent inside-page article claiming that since FY2014, the U.S. military has not allowed access to its installations in Japan by Environment Ministry officials tasked with carrying out inspections for environmental pollution. Japanese access was permitted last at a total of 14 locations across Japan in FY2013, including MCAS Futenma and Yokosuka Naval Base. According to the article, the Okinawa prefectural government was told by the Environment Ministry that it has not been able to obtain consent from the U.S. military. The article speculated that the refusal of Japanese access was perhaps decided at the U.S.-Japan Joint Committee, with the Environment Ministry explaining to the daily that the content of discussions with the U.S. side cannot be disclosed. It expressed concern that the GOJ may not be able to detect possible environmental pollution on bases. 

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