Okinawa Times gave top play to a story filed by British freelance writer Jon Mitchell on a document reportedly prepared by local U.S. military authorities regarding their 2014 investigation into the safety of a network of underground fuel pipelines in the island prefecture. According to the military report allegedly submitted to the Defense Logistics Agency, the probe discovered that 43 of the 60 devices designed to detect vapor from fuel leaks in a pipeline between Tengan Pier on the east coast of the main island and MCAS Futenma were faulty, making it impossible to alert a military control center to a potential mishap. Although the vapor monitoring system was installed in 1983, the military document allegedly indicated the absence of inspection reports until 2014, suggesting that the defects may have been overlooked for almost three decades. The U.S. military reportedly did not reply to the journalist’s inquiry about whether the alleged defects have been repaired.
The daily wrote in a separate article that local residents have expressed anger and concern over what they see as the U.S. military’s slipshod system for monitoring for leaks in the pipelines that run under commercial and residential properties.