Japan Demands On-Site Probe over U.S. Base Spillage

Politics

Tokyo, April 15 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Defense Ministry on Tuesday demanded access to the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air base in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, to conduct an on-site investigation over a toxic material spillage there.

It is the first time that the ministry seeks an on-site investigation based on the Japan-U.S. agreement on environmental stewardship supplementary to the bilateral status of forces pact since the additional accord was inked in 2015.

The ministry said that some 227,100 liters of fire-extinguishing foam that contains perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, a toxic substance known as PFOS, was spilled at the base in the southernmost Japan prefecture.

"It is a large-scale spillage incident, and I understand it can give great anxiety to citizens," Shigeki Ito, a spokesman at the ministry, told a press conference Tuesday.

The ministry lodged a serious protest over the incident to U.S. forces in Japan the same day.

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Jiji Press