national

All U.S. forces' personnel to take virus test after arrival in Japan

37 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

37 Comments
Login to comment

Bolting the stable door after the horse... etc ? But better late than never.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

The forces had said the exemption from PCR tests began in September for vaccinated personnel coming to their facilities in Japan by military aircraft.

Different rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated caused the problem.

As we can see from this case and countless others, vaccinated people can and do spread the virus.

If restrictions are going to be in place, they should apply to everyone equally, rich or poor, vaccinated or unvaccinated, famous person or average Joe.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The U.S. forces in Japan now require all of their personnel to test for the coronavirus within 24 hours after their arrival in the country, the Foreign Ministry said Friday, after a cluster infection recently broke out at a U.S. base in Okinawa.

Within 24 hours? BS! Do it right after they land, dont freaking wait! The wait allows any potentially infected person to further spread the virus among the people around them!

As I noted yesterday, there were nearly 100 new cases among the US military here (98) more than double the number of the numbers reported for the prefecture alone. (44)

These "bean" counters really need to add the military numbers to those here in Okinawa, as there have been well over 3,000 cases among the military here since this started, and that number is not accurate as initially they didnt report any numbers at all.

Rough numbers here, but at 3,378 infections out of a military population of roughly 30,000, you are talking about an infection rate of over 10%. That number is for reference only as they keep rotating in and out and out of a total population of roughly 80,000, which includes 25,000 dependents and Dod civilians etc etc, it's hard to know just who has been "infected" as they do not publish demographics.

Point is, the military, by far, has a higher percentage of infected people than the people on Okinawa alone, and that SHOULD tell anyone with half a brain, that EVERYONE must get the PCR tests on arrival!

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Why not BEFORE departure??

13 ( +15 / -2 )

US troops should not be travelling on commercial aircraft to Japan unless they follow the same rules as everyone else: test on arrival and quarantine at the airport if positive.

Otherwise the US military should use its own aircraft to fly soldiers directly to their base.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Otherwise the US military should use its own aircraft to fly soldiers directly to their base.

For the most part they do. Civilians, family members, etc pretty much fly commercial, but active duty fly what is euphemistically called the "Freedom Bird" which are military chartered flights, in and out of Kadena here in Okinawa. Others also fly into Yokota, before flying here.

Even then, if they are not tested, they come into contact with base workers (Japanese) and other people as well!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Why wasn't this done 2 years ago?

Huge failure of the US command.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

My buddy came back to Japan 2 weeks ago on a commercial flight, and about a third of the passengers who got off at Narita were US military. The civilians waited for 3+ hours for their PCR test results plus the initial 3 day quarantine at a nearby hotel, but the military folks were led to another area and presumably not tested. Then the health ministry contacts my friend a week later to inform him that there was a Covid positive person on board - so he had to undergo additional tests, more monitoring, etc. Not sure if the carrier was the military passenger (or would you even know or do they even track them)? As @happyhere says, fly them on their own aircraft or else this whole quarantine and testing scheme is completely meaningless.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

There are 500+ COVID cases on the US military bases in Okinawa. That information seems to be under the radar.

Not that unbelievable as anyone can do the math over the daily reported totals over the past few weeks.

Now then, if you are stating that as a DAILY total, you really need to share links to where you got the information.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Why wasn't this done 2 years ago? Huge failure of the US command.

Did you actually read the article? I think not, as it is clearly stated here when the policy changed. Prior to that they WERE tested and quarantined as well. That is common knowledge. What wasnt common knowledge is that they stopped!

The forces had said the exemption from PCR tests began in September for vaccinated personnel coming to their facilities in Japan by military aircraft.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I think not, as it is clearly stated here when the policy changed. Prior to that they WERE tested and quarantined as well.

This is correct. They used to test and quarantine vaccinated and unvaccinated, but then some misinformation was spread that fully vaccinated people can not spread corona.

That is the crux of the problem, the mistaken belief that vaccination stops the spread.

The lesson is clear, if restrictions are in place, do not exempt fully vaccinated people.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It seemed like the USFJ and base commanders used to be more enlightened about Japan host nation considerations. What’s going on?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I arrived back in Japan on Dec 30, with about 3 military personnel among the 30 or so of us deplaning in Japan. It annoyed me to see them not only get separate and preferential treatment - although two of them DID do the PCR test along with us - but to be picked up by somebody from the base at Narita and go back home, to presumably live their life without any constraints while the rest of us went off to do our 6 days of hotel quarantine. Not only that, their greeter stood there shouting with a mask slipped half off of her face - and of course nobody objected. Meanwhile we were shipped off on a bus to Mito for our quarantine.....

Without this kind of hole being patched, these border measures become even higher on the BS scale than they already are. Equal treatment for all!

8 ( +10 / -2 )

It seemed like the USFJ and base commanders used to be more enlightened about Japan host nation considerations.

Like when did this ever REALLY happen, besides paying lip service that is?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Okinawa is the worst of Omicron infection, coincidence with the US military bases or not?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I'll be there in a few days. I just got my test done before leaving. I expect to test when I land. And I have a driver taking me to the Army base to stay for 14 days, where I will be tested twice more at least before I go onward.

Anything else I need to do?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

coincidence with the US military bases or not?

Not!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Should have been on Arrival at the port of arrival.

24 hours is a very long time to infect a lot of people.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The decision to test all arriving personnel (which I hope includes civilians and families) should have been made long ago. Maybe I shouldn't be (but I am) surprised that military commanders are so slow to make decisions. It doesn't give me much confidence in their ability to defend Japan.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I'll be there in a few days. I just got my test done before leaving. I expect to test when I land. And I have a driver taking me to the Army base to stay for 14 days, where I will be tested twice more at least before I go onward.

Anything else I need to do?

Perhaps refrain from mingling with Japanese people, refrain from drunken riding around Okinawa, and just keep your head down on base working to do your duty to defend Japan.

Good for you, its an important job. All the best.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It seemed like the USFJ and base commanders used to be more enlightened about Japan host nation considerations. What’s going on?

They still are. Need I remind everyone that back when this thing started, it was US military bases that were making people check their temperatures before entering the bases and filling out forms on if they felt sick. They made us stand in lines and limited the numbers of persons who could enter the commissaries and exchanges so that adequate separation could be held. When even went into tele-work mode even for the Japanese workers and granted them online access to email systems well before most local companies did.

We even got the vaccines and issued requirements well before Japan, and even allowed Japanese personnel employees the option of getting the US vaccine after we had gone through and got as many military and US civilians vaccinated. Even if they didn't we still required vaccinated folks to wear a mask on base if they work with Japanese nationals who haven't had a vaccine, and it is still a mandatory requirement that we wear a mask off base at all times, even if we are vaccinated.

We've been far more above board and putting measures in place compared to Japan, who just recently got their folks through prior to the Olympics. But, I guess from watching that large crowd at the temple last night on NHK, they will say it was a few Americans that were there celebrating the New Year that caused any outbreak if any.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The US military is anything but enlightened - the mission is not about any form of enlightenment - in fact it is quite the opposite. An army of occupation, in place for over 75 years, the edge of the American Empire in Asia. Representing a foreign policy aka pivot to Asia that determines China is to be contained by military means - that anticipates eventually going to war, which is the mission of the US military, it isn't a humanitarian organization. This is reflected in every aspect. There is no care and concern for the Japanese citizenry on the part of the US military. The intentional failure to require testing, in fact, asserting privilege over a sovereign state aka Japan reveals a disdain for the locals. Army personnel and their families aren't tourists, they are elements of a war machine and act as such.

As for NHK, filming crowds at a temple(s), celebrating, that is hardly a concern of the US military or its self-anointed spokesman nor will it be viewed as anything other than the responsibility of those in attendance with its smattering of westerners. The population of Japan, acting in concert as responsible citizens are largely vaccinated and have and do follow protocols, which is in contrast to the USA and its military.

As for the pseudo-gracious army of occupation 'allowing' Japanese to be vaccinated, on base, AFTER US personnel are inoculated. How gracious, comparable to feudal lords granting boons to the peasants.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

There are 500+ COVID cases on the US military bases in Okinawa. That information seems to be under the radar.

Well you seem to know, so I guess it’s not under the radar.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The policy change came after the forces were criticized by Japan for exempting their personnel from testing for the virus before departing from the United States,

Good thing the Japanese criticized them, probably wouldn't have thought of it otherwise

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Happy New Year (NOT) from the US Military on January 1st 235 NEW infections! 52 in the rest of "Okinawa"

https://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/articles/-/888501

沖縄の米軍関係で235人がコロナ感染 前日の2.3倍に 県民は52人【1月1日昼】

1 ( +2 / -1 )

American service people are not gonna abide, no Japanese rules, they do not abide by American rules,

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@FYI Since the US military population is 35 times smaller (1,400,000/40,000) than the Okinawan civilian population, 235 military infections are equivalent to 8,225 local infections! That reflects a situation that is totally out of control. Commanders who cannot control their troops are normally removed from command. (The situation in Okinawa is mostly on the USMC bases.)

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Doesn’t make any sense, such a strange logic to test them after landing and viruses brought in already. Such a testing , including waiting for reliable negative results, should be made before they board planes or ships to come here.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@BroncoToday 07:34 am JST

As we can see from this case and countless others, vaccinated people can and do spread the virus.

Yes they do. On the other hand, it's a matter of probability, and people who have vaccinated have "done their part" to avoid spreading the virus. Treat them as if they never jabbed themselves, and you remove a significant incentive for them to other people to get jabbed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yaburu, if Japan was not weak and couldn't defend themselves, their would be no need for them to be in Japan, service people in the US are not confined to base, they are able to have a life, while away from the base

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Perhaps refrain from mingling with Japanese people, refrain from drunken riding around Okinawa, and just keep your head down on base working to do your duty to defend Japan.

Good for you, its an important job. All the best

Um, I lived there for 10 years. I do know what I have to do.... Dad.......

0 ( +0 / -0 )

YubaruJan. 1 03:54 pm JST

Happy New Year (NOT) from the US Military on January 1st 235 NEW infections! 52 in the rest of "Okinawa"

https://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/articles/-/888501

Both the Okinawan Times and Ryukyu Shimpo have been anti- American since I first got there (1988). Along with every governor running on the platform of kick out the Americans, but Japan pay us for having them. Ugh.

With that being said I wish the on base commanders would be more strict with the military that arrive on the military flights directly to the base. That is where the issue is. My command sends Soldiers to/from Okinawa but they go commercial, get tested numerous times and quarantine like we're supposed to. This is not hard.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Today the number of new Covid infections reported in the USA was well over 400,000.

It has been said that it is just a matter of time until EVERY American is infected, regardless of vaccine status, prior infection, social distancing or masks.

Allowing entry of untested Americans into Japan is simply insane.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I haven't flown in almost 2 yrs, but don't they require tests before boarding AND after arrival?

The before flight is required by the airlines and the on-arrival is required by the other country.

The USgovt should be doing that too with all travelers on their flights to all countries. And if a country has any sort of arrival quarantine, that should be followed too. No exceptions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites