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U.S. military to conduct COVID-19 tests for all Japan-bound personnel

All national papers took up a teleconference held yesterday between Foreign Minister Hayashi and the USFJ commander, Lt. Gen. Rupp, at which the Japanese official expressed strong regret at the massive cluster infection at Camp Hansen. The commander reportedly stated that he is taking the matter “seriously.” In reply to Hayashi’s call for additional steps to contain the outbreak, the commander reportedly said all service members bound for Japan from the United States will receive COVID-19 diagnostic tests prior to departure. He also reportedly suggested that additional testing may be conducted after arrival in Japan.

 

According to Hayashi, who briefed the media, Lt. Gen. Rupp explained that arriving personnel had been subject to PCR tests five days after upon entry on the condition that they were full vaccinated and that they had been allowed to move freely on base even during the two-week quarantine period after arrival. “I filed a request [for stronger controls] directly with the commander since their measures have been out of synch with Japan’s steps,” the cabinet member was quoted as saying: “We will continue to coordinate closely and file requests for necessary measures without fail.” According to NHK, the foreign minister separately called for the USFJ chief to tighten discipline in reference to the arrest on Monday of a Hansen service member on DUI charges.

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