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Marines require new arrivals to shelter in place at Chatan hotel

  • July 10, 2020
  • , Okinawa Times
  • JMH Summary

Okinawa Times gave top play to a report saying that the municipal government of Chatan announced on Thursday that the Marines are having personnel newly arrived in Okinawa shelter at a hotel in Chatan as a measure to prevent COVID-19 infection on bases. The paper wrote that on July 2 Chatan Mayor Noguni lodged a protest with the Defense Ministry’s Okinawa Bureau expressing concern that having U.S. military personnel shelter in a private off-base facility will give rise to anxiety about the spread of the virus in the local community. The paper wrote that according to an informed source, the U.S. side explained that it is difficult to have all incoming personnel shelter on base due to space limitations. The paper also wrote that although the municipal government has asked the Okinawa defense bureau and the MOFA office in Okinawa to provide information about the number of personnel and the duration of this arrangement, it had not yet received an answer as of Thursday. According to the municipal government, the prefectural government informed it on June 30 that the U.S. Marines were planning to use a hotel in Chatan. The Okinawa defense bureau and the MOFA Okinawa office told the mayor on July 2 that the personnel are sheltering in place in their hotel rooms and not going out in principle and that measures to prevent hotel workers from coming into direct contact with them have been implemented. The paper wrote that although the U.S. military has explained that it is requiring personnel arriving in Okinawa to shelter in place for 14 days, the base-hosting communities are growing increasingly concerned.

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