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SECURITY > Okinawa

Okinawa enraged by unannounced discharge of toxic water from Futenma

The two major Okinawa papers reported extensively on the U.S. military’s release into the local public sewage system of PFOS-contaminated water from the Futenma Air Station after treating it, highlighting that local government officials were furious about what they regarded as a “surprise” operation by the Futenma authorities. They expressed deep distrust of the U.S. military for discharging the contaminated water without obtaining consent either from the GOJ or Okinawa, claiming that the U.S. side had promised that it would not discharge the treated water until agreement had been reached with the Japanese side. Okinawa Times said the episode revealed the U.S. military’s “audacious” nature, while Ryukyu Shimpo said Japan “was fooled” by the U.S. military.


According to Ryukyu Shimpo, a senior prefectural government official visited the U.S. Consulate in Naha yesterday to lodge a protest. Consular officer Susan Dunathan reportedly said in response that Okinawa’s message will be conveyed to the U.S. military and Washington. The Okinawa official also protested the recent incident in which components fell off a Futenma-based Osprey and the arrest of a U.S. base worker for attempted sexual assault.

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