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SECURITY > Okinawa

Experts raise doubts about transparency of soil sampling at Futenma

Okinawa Times reported on soil samples that the U.S. military provided to the Okinawa authorities on Monday. The samples were reportedly collected by the U.S. military from multiple locations on MCAS Futenma, including the hangar where foam extinguisher containing hazardous PFOS spilled on April 10. The GOJ and the Okinawa prefectural government reportedly welcomed the fact that during their fourth onsite investigation, the U.S. side offered a sample of soil from an area that the U.S. military referred to as a “hotspot,” the area near the hangar from which soil was removed two weeks after the accident due to possible PFOS contamination.

 

Although the prefectural government finally obtained the soil sample that it had allegedly “desperately wanted,” the daily said some environmental activists are raising doubts as to whether the soil in question was actually taken from the earth removed from near the hangar by the U.S. military. An NGO representative reportedly insisted that Okinawa officials at the site should have refused to accept the sample and demanded that they be allowed to take samples themselves. “Investigations should be conducted based on science rather than trust of the U.S. military,” said the expert. “The onsite investigation was flawed because of the lack of transparency.”

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