Recently, ten COVID-19 cases were confirmed among U.S. service members and base-affiliated workers at the U.S. military’s Kyogamisaki Communication Site (Kyotango City, Kyoto Prefecture). Twelve Japanese Communist Party members from the Kyoto prefectural assembly (led by Harada Kan) and three JCP members from the Kyotango City Assembly (led by Tanaka Kunio) lodged a protest with Kyoto Governor Nishiwaki Takatoshi and Kyotango Mayor Nakayama Yasushi, complaining about the inadequate handling of the matter by the U.S. military and local/central governments and requesting effective countermeasures be taken.
The JCP politicians referred to an incident in which three military-affiliates visited a medical institution in the city without prior notice to obtain the results of their PCR tests before their departure from Japan. One of them turned out to be infected with the virus.
City residents were outraged by the thoughtless conduct, but the prefecture and the city have left the handling of the matter up to the discretion of the U.S. military.
The JCP assembly members criticized the U.S. military for not fulfilling even the minimum COVID-related responsibilities, such as disclosing contact tracing information as well as testing and treating COVID-positive personnel. The members also objected to the U.S. military’s not sending a medical team from U.S. Army Camp Zama to the Kyogamisaki base as it did for the previous COVID cases.
“The city health center is burdened by [the Kyogamisaki personnel] because no U.S. medical team has been dispatched [to assist]. The situation must be resolved immediately,” said Harada. (Abridged)