Japan protests after US Marines dump toxic water in Okinawa sewers


The government has lodged a strong protest with US forces based in Okinawa Prefecture for dumping treated water containing dangerous chemicals into the local sewage system.

“It is extremely regrettable that (the US Marines) unilaterally dumped the water despite ongoing discussions between Japan and the United States on how to treat the water,” Environment Minister Shinjiro said on Friday. Koizumi at a press conference.

Referring to an incident Thursday involving the United States Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Base in Ginowan, Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi separately said he has asked the United States Marines to stop any future spills of contaminated water. .

Following the leak of water containing toxic materials from the US military’s oil storage facility in Uruma and other nearby locations in June, the US military notified local authorities and the Japanese government in July. of its intention to discharge treated water into the local sewer system to prevent another unexpected leak, according to the Okinawa prefectural government.

But the US military did not notify the prefectural government until Thursday morning that it would begin releasing the water less than an hour before moving forward with the plan.

The Okinawa Prefecture government demanded that US forces immediately cease such actions.

Speaking to reporters on Friday after meeting with US military officials, Okinawa Deputy Governor Kiichiro Jahana said about 64,000 liters of water had been released the day before.

The US military said the water had been treated to meet safe drinking levels, saying the combined presence of the synthetic polluting chemicals perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is below provisional government standards. Japanese.

“Local residents feel very anxious,” Koizumi said. “We will work with the relevant ministries and the prefectural government to ensure this is handled appropriately, as well as to reconfirm the details with the United States.”

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