Japan, U.S. discuss jump in coronavirus cases at U.S. military bases

Japan, U.S. discuss jump in coronavirus cases at U.S. military bases
  • Clock-gray 19:14
  • calendar-gray 13 July 2020

Japan and the United States are sharing information about coronavirus infections at U.S. military bases after an outbreak provoked ire in the southernmost prefecture of Okinawa, a top Japanese official said on Monday, APA reports citing Reuters.

Okinawa confirmed a total of 62 individuals - 39 at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, 22 at Camp Hansen and one at Camp Kinser - had tested positive for the virus between Sunday and July 7.

“We will cooperate appropriately on this matter,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a regular news briefing.

“Japan and the United States are sharing information about the activity history of the infected military individuals.”

Okinawa is host to the bulk of U.S. military forces in Japan, whose alliance with Washington is central to its security.

But many Okinawans associate the bases with problems from crime to accidents, and want the Marines to reduce their presence or leave the area altogether.

At the weekend, Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki said it was “extremely regrettable” that a large number of infections had occurred in a short time, adding that Okinawans were “shocked” by the news.

“I can’t help but have strong doubts about the U.S. military’s measures to prevent infections,” he said, adding that there were reports of personnel leaving base for beach parties and visits to night life districts around Independence Day on July 4.

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