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Okinawa asks U.S. military to continue enforcing mask mandate on base

According to Okinawa Times, a senior prefectural government official held talks with Col. Neil Owens, the Marine Corps Installations Pacific Government External Affairs Officer, on Tuesday and asked for the reinstatement of a mask mandate for service members on base by citing concerns raised by Japanese base workers and contractors about COVID-19. The request came following the lifting of the mandate on March 14 on account of the drop in infections. The Marine official reportedly explained in reply that the U.S. military’s coronavirus prevention and mitigation protocols on base are in accordance with CDC guidelines, emphasizing that personnel are required to wear masks off base and encouraged to do so in the presence of Japanese employees.

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