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Fire breaks out at hazmat facility at U.S. air base on Okinawa

19 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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19 Comments
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Hopefully no one locally was injured on or off base.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

...and under the status of forces agreement, the US has no obligation to share information with local authorities as to the cause, the chemicals, or for the resulting environmental damage or cleanup costs.

https://www.pref.okinawa.jp/site/chijiko/kichitai/syogai/documents/h30youseisyobessatue.pdf

begin on p.15

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Expat that doesn't mean they won't

2 ( +3 / -1 )

About time the SOFA got renegotiated. It's grossly unfair. It's time the cheapskate US military either paid up or got out. They have had a free ride for too long. Okinawa is not a US colony.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

. In April, more than 140 tons of fire-fighting foams believed to contain cancer-causing substances leaked out of the Marine Air Station Futenma at the center of a relocation dispute. 

Please..ENOUGH already with the over exaggerations here! You can get cancer from drinking 500 cans of "saccharin" laced diet coke too!

The foam agent that was "released" into the wild, from Futenma, was a typical foam retardant used to put out fires, and which also dissipates when mixed with water, leaving to permanent harm!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Oh, man. I don't even wanna think it could be a chemical weapon, just it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It is an old wooden building that is regularly used by the base fire department for practice. There were some chloride (water purification) tables stored there. There is nothing secret about the facility. In fact an NHK News helicopter was allowed to provide live coverage and flew over the base. The foam fire retardant issue has nothing to do with this incident.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Yubaru - you're correct this has been blow totally out of proportion in the news. The story has made it around the world. I have received calls from friends overseas who know I live close to Kadena Air Base, asking if we are OK. LOL! It was a 50 year old empty wooden building with pallets of water purification tablets stored next to it. (That's your HAZMAT) The fire department evacuated people in a few nearby buildings out of an abundance of caution. And, they alerted people on the base and the Okinawa government. The NHK News helicopter was allowed to fly over the base to provide video coverage. In this case the USAF seems to have handled it very well. If they didn't I would be calling them out right now.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I remember fire fighting classes in Navy boot camp (all recruits have to do it). Fires like this are put out by use 'PKP' ('Purple K Powder' 'K' = potassium) which isn't purple but pink. And it stinks - smells like rotten eggs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Unfortunately Japan has to keep this American base because the growing china is very dangerous not the nay for Japan but other countries too.what is going in Indian border

with China is very dangerous.North Korea and China are both communists.Giving economic advisers des to poor countries and taking their all natural resources are new methods of China.

gamann

2 ( +3 / -1 )

What kind of foam was it? AFFF, PFAS?

These are highly toxic and linked to many cancers, plus they can contaminate ground water. They do not break down.

The VA and military consider these to be dangerous. That's why they are in a hazmat area!

To brush this aside as exaggeration is wrong.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

These are highly toxic and linked to many cancers, plus they can contaminate ground water. They do not break down.

The VA and military consider these to be dangerous. That's why they are in a hazmat area!

To brush this aside as exaggeration is wrong.

Yep, new anti-Kadena AFB protests in the works.

Kadena has chemicals (weapons) that is danger to Okinawa environment and threatens people! Close down Kadena AFB NOW!

Any excuse to oust the U.S. military bases.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

What kind of foam was it? AFFF, PFAS?

These are highly toxic and linked to many cancers, plus they can contaminate ground water. They do not break down.

Mixing TWO different stories here! The FIRE at Kadena had NOTHING to do with the foam retardant released at Futenma!

Military officials in Japan have previously said the firefighting foam on Futenma contains perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, or PFOS, and perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA.

Not to mention that stating that

In April, more than 140 tons of firefighting foam 

Is TOTALLY bogus! Think about that! We are talking about 140 TONS of FOAM! That's enough foam to probably cover the ENTIRE city of Ginowan! FOAM! not the liquid retardant, FOAM!

Let me see you even try to weigh ONE pound of FOAM!

I have read exxaggerations here, but this one is like so far over the top, and yet sadly, people BELIEVE it!

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Okinawa is not a US colony.

Finally you got something right here!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The usual overblown story about anything involving the U.S., its military personnel or bases.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Regarding the AFFF, both foam and liquid were released, Stars and Stripes reported 60,000 GL. This equates, weight-wise, to well over 140 tons. The firefighting foam (aqueous film-forming foam) and is not just foam, it contains liquid too. And will cause bodily harm.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

YubaruToday  08:45 am JST

Okinawa is not a US colony.

Finally you got something right here!

I agree its a client-state.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

According to Okinawa Prefectural Enterprise Bureau's April 2019 investigation, ground water sampled from wells in the area north of Kadena Air Base contained high concentration of cancer-causing PFOS and PFOA. Kadena Air Base is suspected of the source of the contamination, but can the prefectural government go into the base and directly identify the culprit? SOFA prevents them from such investigations.

Noise pollution, contamination of water and soil with toxic materials, too many U.S. service member-related crimminal cases -- all this is what Okinawa has to suffers from because of the excessive U.S. military presence. Reduce this huge military footprint. For starters, close the Futenma Air Station and return the land immediately with no strings attached. 

Rapacious greed, thy name is the U.S.A.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@voiceofokinawa

I cannot believe this pollution is accepted like this. Why isn’t there an agreement not to pollute and care for Environment. Or to clean up. Can Japan defend itself against China, nk.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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