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Okinawa concerned by lack of quarantine for U.S. service members returning from ROK

Ryukyu Shimpo reported on a meeting held yesterday between Okinawa Vice Governor Jahana and GOJ representatives in Okinawa, during which the local politician expressed “serious concern” about the recent return to the island prefecture of some 300 Marines from training in South Korea, where COVID-19 has spread rapidly, because they were not subject to Japan’s quarantine upon arrival. The vice governor reportedly called for a revision of the SOFA since it exempts U.S. military personnel from Japanese quarantine requirements.

 

According to the Okinawa Defense Bureau, the Marines stayed at a U.S. military facility in South Korea for a few days for health monitoring before their departure and none of them showed any symptoms when they arrived at Kadena AB, where they were examined again. The Marine authorities reportedly issued a statement on Tuesday saying that none of the personnel tested positive for the virus and they did not travel to Daegu or other areas where there have been many infections. 

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