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Okinawa requests information on service members with COVID-19

Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo wrote that although the U.S. military promptly notified the Okinawa prefectural government that two airmen at Kadena AB tested positive for COVID-19 on March 28, it has not responded to Okinawa’s request for detailed information on the patients, such as whether they live on or off base, how they have been quarantined, and their activities in Okinawa, because they apparently tested positive several days after returning from Europe. The local government is worried that the two service members may have interacted with local residents before being quarantined.


While explaining that the GOJ is set to ban the entry of travelers from the U.S. to prevent the coronavirus from spreading further, Ryukyu Shimpo asserted that since U.S. military personnel under the SOFA are not subject to Japanese quarantine, U.S. military installations may become a weak link in the enhanced border control measures. Okinawa Times quoted a prefectural government source as saying: “Any person from the U.S. mainland who arrives at a military facility in Okinawa should be put under a two-week quarantine on base without exception.” The daily added that the local government is also requesting the cooperation of U.S. military authorities to prevent infection among Japanese base workers.     

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