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Japanese workers at Camp Zama tasked with disinfection as “mission essential” duty

  • November 21, 2021
  • , Mainichi
  • JMH Summary

Sunday’s Mainichi wrote that since the outbreak of COVID-19 in March 2020, an increasing number of Japanese employees at Camp Zama in Kanagawa Prefecture have been requested to do disinfection work at the base as a “mission essential” duty to maintain the base functions even though the cleaning staff’s job description does not include sanitization. According to the paper, some of these workers involved in the disinfection of such items as doorknobs and handrails developed headaches and other symptoms from the use of highly concentrated bleaching agents and at least two of them have received GOJ worker’s compensation for industrial accidents. The paper noted that under the U.S.-Japan Status of Forces Agreement, Japanese workers at U.S. bases are subject to Japanese laws. The Ministry of Defense reportedly told the paper that it has asked the U.S. Forces Japan to provide local employees with sufficient explanations about their duties and that the U.S. military has responded by saying it is taking safety measures.

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