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DM Kono comments on U.S. response to fire at Kadena AB

  • June 24, 2020
  • , Okinawa Times, Ryukyu Shimpo
  • JMH Summary

Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo wrote that Defense Minister Kono commented during a press briefing on Tuesday on the fire that broke out on Monday morning at a facility that houses hazardous materials at Kadena Air Base. The papers wrote that Kono reportedly said he thinks the timing of the U.S. military’s notification of the incident was not appropriate. Ryukyu Shimpo wrote that according to the Ministry of Defense, although its Okinawa bureau asked the U.S. military about the cause of the fire and the types of hazardous materials stored at the facility, it did not receive an answer on Monday. The paper noted that the United States and Japan agreed in 1997 that the U.S. side would immediately notify the Japanese side of incidents involving the U.S. military that could have an impact on the environment.


Ryukyu Shimpo wrote that the Okinawa defense bureau announced on Tuesday that the building where the fire occurred is an auxiliary facility that stores chemical substances, including calcium hypochlorite. According to the defense bureau, no foam extinguisher containing PFOS was used to put out the fire and the water used to extinguish the fire flowed into a storm drain but is believed not to have flowed out of the base. The bureau added that a section overseeing environmental issues at the U.S. military has been monitoring the situation for any abnormalities.

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