The reported coronavirus outbreaks on US bases station in Okinawa is a growing cause of concern for Japanese officials.
More than 100 US personnel are infected by the virus and how to arrest the spread of the contagion is of utmost concern. Locals fear the transmission of the virus and inquiring how the US military will arrest its spread within base perimeters, so it would not affect local Okinawans, reported CBS News.
In all of Asia, the COVID breakout is on all five bases that are stationed on the island. It is one of the biggest numbers of COVID cases to date in any American installation registered during the pandemic. Many local Okinawan officials are not convinced that efforts to keep the virus from the bases were exerted enough.
About half of the estimated 50,000 US troops are all in Okinawa Japan. Based on current information that has been verified, most cases are at five US bases.
Okinawa against US Presence?
One of the most cited reasons by the local officials and news is the Fourth of July parties that were celebrated on and off base. Many of the base personnel and workers are the source of the newest outbreaks.
Last Tuesday, the Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono in a press brief informed that the Japanese government is at odds with the preventive measures of the US military. Stressing that these measures weren't sufficient and needs to be addressed. The specific issue was not mentioned in the public briefing though, cited RSS 24 News.
A lockdown was effectively in place on Monday for all personnel of the two hardest-hit bases. Those who participated in the parties are getting traced soon for immediate testing. Most important is whether any Japanese national has made content with infect US personnel, mention Post Online Media.
According to Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki was livid over the large outbreaks that extremely concerned him. But he was alarmed by the prospect of a devastating second wave in Okinawa.
On another point, he stated that if the US will be able to control and halt the deadly disease at all.
He added in press brief if the American can deal with the already present coronavirus.
Politics in Okinawa
All the US personnel which includes servicemen, and families are not allowed to patronize local Okinawan restaurants that will include those non-essential businesses to isolate US nationals.
The governor whose parents are an American father and Okinawan mother, has insisted on more preventive measures at a maximum level. There should be more transparency in the US personnel serving in Okinawa, and stop rotating of personnel from the US, mentioned Time.
US official informed on Monday that details of those positively infected weren't made public yet. Another is that it has not damaged local relations permanently.