Crisis as US Marines in Japan test positive
Governor Denny Tamaki said he could say only that a “few dozen” cases had been found recently because the US military asked that the exact figure not be released.Updated: Jul 12, 2020 02:52 IST
Dozens of US Marines at two bases on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa have been infected with the coronavirus in what is feared to be a massive outbreak, Okinawa’s governor said on Saturday, demanding an adequate explanation from the US military.
Governor Denny Tamaki said he could say only that a “few dozen” cases had been found recently because the US military asked that the exact figure not be released. The outbreaks occurred at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, which is at the centre of a relocation dispute, and Camp Hansen, Tamaki said.
Local media, citing unnamed sources, said about 60 people had been infected.
“Okinawans are shocked by what we were told (by the US military),” Tamaki said. “We now have strong doubts that the US military has taken adequate disease prevention measures.”
Tamaki demanded transparency in the latest development and said he planned to request talks between the US military and Okinawan officials.
Okinawa is home to more than half of about 50,000 American troops based in Japan under a bilateral security pact.
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