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Japan tells U.S. military to enforce virus rules after Okinawa base cluster

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they should lock down all these bases until they sort this out. Hospitality is going to suffer again down here if the American's don't get on top of this.

13 ( +29 / -16 )

Time to shut it all down and send the yanks packing.

-15 ( +23 / -38 )

Hayashi said he had voiced "strong regret" to the commander of U.S. Forces Japan, Lieutenant General Ricky Rupp, over anti-infection procedures for American military arrivals.

The Japanese Government might get a taste of the Japanese people's frustration with JGov's own noncommittal pronouncements. " The behavior of our enlisted men is highly regrettable and we will deeply consider strong enforcement of future protocols".

Meanwhile to the troops: " Just keep it on the down low, don't get filmed by the media, no fighting and don't get picked up by the police. "

11 ( +18 / -7 )

The old myth that the Okinawan economy would collapse without the US bases. True immediately after the war perhaps, but the opposite is true now. They hold the economy down. But, on the other hand, if they paid rent for the huge land they use, including the golf courses and other amenities that are so essential to defence, they would contribute enormously to the Okinawan economy.

5 ( +22 / -17 )

Time to shut it all down and send the yanks packing.

Do you honestly believe there's a choice?

2 ( +19 / -17 )

however, the U.S. military was testing soldiers only three to five days after they landed

Are you kidding me?

That clearly shows how serious the US takes this virus, and that they do nothing to help to stop the spread of the virus.

*
-3 ( +17 / -20 )

The US: Go home, kiddo!

Japan: Hai, hai, boss!

-14 ( +10 / -24 )

Uh-Oh .com Not again!

2 ( +7 / -5 )

"These rules are not consistent with the Japanese rules [for foreigners]."

21 ( +27 / -6 )

The article is strangely written.

The headline reads "tells" but the article says "urges" but then it says "demanded"

If the USA military cant contain the virus within their own base and personnel then how can Japan trust the USA ?

Japan should enforce the USA military.

Now that would be interesting.

-8 ( +9 / -17 )

AGAIN. Beyond belief! You bunch of selfish, inconsiderate, me, me, me idiots: THAT is the USMC.

4 ( +21 / -17 )

Hayashi said, however, the U.S. military was testing soldiers only three to five days after they landed, with newly arrived troops allowed to move freely inside their base

…..

From point of departure to here (quarantining 6 days) I have done 4 PCR tests.

I was given a home antigen test for the 10th day as well.

It seems that the Japanese rules are way different than those of the US military.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

Japan "urges" the US military. "PLEASE, pretty please with a cheery on top, stop spreading diseases amongst the general population of our country.".... Pathetic! How much will the Japanese public put up with before rising up against the regime?

-1 ( +13 / -14 )

A request is more like it.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Send those yanks packing ?

We wish !!

-1 ( +13 / -14 )

Hayashi said, however, the U.S. military was testing soldiers only three to five days after they landed, with newly arrived troops allowed to move freely inside their base.

Is this fact, or just hearsay?

2 ( +9 / -7 )

And the US will listen?

LOLOL

1 ( +9 / -8 )

It looks like all US soldiers in Okinawa are already infected with omicron.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

By now all US forces deployed are fully vaccinated. The few hundred who refused to be vaccinated are in the US being separated from the service. That has to factor into decisions on movement within the bases. Vaccinating people and then forcing them into isolation is ridiculous. The whole reason for the vaccine mandate is to permit normal operations.

A second point is that the article says "215 people linked to the US base" without specifying if these are uniformed military, US civilian contractors or Japanese nationals hired to work on the bases. Who these people are matters. It could very well be locals employed by the base bringing the virus to the base and not the other way around, or the vector could be civilian US contractors working at the bases, but the article does not offer enough detail to know this with certainty.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

""Last year, two U.S. Marine bases in Okinawa -- including Camp Hansen -- were put into lockdown""

Then do it again and again and again until things are under control.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

wayan Ubud

they should lock down all these bases until they sort this out. 

Yeah, that's basically the only option. Omicron doesn't seem to be as deadly but spreads easier.

But in recent days, 215 people linked with the U.S. base Camp Hansen

I wonder how many were servicemen and how many were civilians/dependents/contractors/taxi drivers/delivery staff.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Japan should enforce the USA military.

Now that would be interesting

How would you explain to the family of a US service member sent abroad to a base in a foreign nation that they are now subject to the laws of a foreign nation and not those of the US and its military? If foreign nations could enforce their laws on US military bases abroad there would be an uproar at home in the US with families demanding their family members in the service abroad be protected from being prosecuted fined and maybe imprisoned by foreigners. I'm not talking about off base but on base. Those military member signed up to protect the US and have very little control over being sent abroad to serve. Now you say they should be subject to Japanese or some other nation's laws and presumably their criminal justice system while on a US base. There would be a political and diplomatic firestorm. As an officer I would never hand any of my people over to a foreign country to prosecute. Not in a million years. These are matters that are not black and white and require some deft diplomacy.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

When in rome act like the romans do.

Put your bloody mask on.

What don’t you comprehend?

12 ( +19 / -7 )

Desert Turtle: Just order your man to keep there mask on. Easy. Why make it so hard for yourselves. Can't your man take directions ? they are serviceman or protesters ???

0 ( +9 / -9 )

"Strong regret" means nothing, and the terms "tell" and "urge" are too strong - "ask" is probably accurate.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The economic outlook (especially for Okinawa!) will not be that rosy (my own experience from another country).

Kishida just decided to slash Okinawa's development budget by 11% next year. This is further punishment for Japan's poorest prefecture for resisting US base construction and electing politicians who actually stand up for their constituents.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

I caught something. Slight fever, muscle aches, chills, runny nose. Thats way out in Saitama. No way for me to get tested. Just like the original strain, Omicron has probably spread around the entire country already undetected. I wear a mask out in public too. Must have caught it at the onsen or at work. First sickness in 2 years, probably since I caught the original Covid-19 strain.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Desert Turtle: Just order your man to keep there mask on. Easy. Why make it so hard for yourselves. Can't your man take directions ? they are serviceman or protesters ???

Wearing a face mask is required throughout the DoD unless it interferes with something like a pilot's oxygen mask or similar.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Desert TortoiseToday  08:36 am JST

US personnel are, in fact, already subject to the laws of the host nation based on the SOFA, (Status of Forces Agreement), negotiated between the US and host country governments. Whether that agreement comes into play in this situation is still to be seen, but if the US was hosting foreign troops on US soil, would you feel the same way? And, before you answer you should know that that scenario happens all the the time.

As for those that keep pounding the "Yanks Go Home" drum everytime some issue comes up regarding the US military here, while you're free to express your uneducated opinions, it is never going to happen.

I do agree the military command on Okinawa need to get their act together and start enforcing the ROM rules already in place for ALL new arrivals. This is, and has been a primarily Okinawa command problem from the beginning. Other bases on mainland Japan have been quite good at mitigating COVID spread. In fact, MCAS Iwakuni has been far better than most, including the surrounding Japanese prefectural governments.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

The bases are American soil. Not much Japan can do. And the bases are pretty much isolated communities anyway so not much of a risk to the general Japanese public. As for people saying time for the yanks to go home, that’s never ever going to happen. China, Russia, North Korea, The US… which is the lesser of the evils?

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

@jkctlr89

Agreed.

21 days quarantine for any oversea travelers.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

ChibakunToday  07:02 am JST

Time to shut it all down and send the yanks packing.

Do you honestly believe there's a choice?

The US-JPN Mutual Defense Treaty can be terminated by either side with one year's notice. So yes, Both Japan and the US have a choice. The Treaty continues because both parties benefit from it.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

there is no need for it,just send boys back home...all of them...

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

What is Japan's policy for new entries if even those who have been fully vaccinated cannot enter the country after two or three weeks of quarantine? Too strict

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Marines. Vacuous and witless. Incapable of rational behavior in terms of SARSCoV-2.

Base should be locked down, as it is supposedly 'self sufficient'.

Another reason, among many, to send the marines home or permanently re-deploy to Guam or a deserted island in the Pacific. Or just send them all to South Korea. Japan has no need of the U.S. military on its sovereign soil - especially, as their behavior is that of an occupying military force. he biggest danger to Asia, is not China, but the USA. The military cannot even keep its troops under quarantine.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

When in Japan, follow the Japanese rules. They appear to be working 1000x better than the US methods.

Xmas shopping today at a big-box store and saw about 90% of the people weren't wearing masks. All the employees were, thankfully. I was masked up.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

US Forces in Japan are part of a community here in Okinawa. Japan has done an excellent job in mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Whereas the US has done a fairly pathetic job. The US has had over 52 million cases with over 833 thousand deaths. Japan on the other hand has had only 1.7 million cases with 18 thousand deaths. The US population is about 3 times larger than Japan.) US Forces have an obligation to cooperate with Japan to prevent COVID-19 infections from spreading to the local population. For those who have followed the daily infection statistics in Okinawa, you will know that the US Forces infection rate has mostly been far higher than the local population. Military personnel reused to get vaccinated, constantly violated mask mandates, and ignored rules of behavior when off-bases. This is not how US Military forces should behave. Commanders must get this under control. I would suggest that PM Kishida make a call to President Biden and request that US Forces (SOFA personnel) be restricted to base until commanders can guarantee compliance. Japanese base workers (which the US depends on) should be guaranteed COVID safe working conditions equal to those off base. And, US personnel who live off base must comply with Japanese regulations (this is already required).

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@Gaijinjland US bases are not US territory. The US simply has an agreement (SOFA) to use them. The Japanese people pay for the land (renting it from landowners), buildings, housing, maintenance, and other costs. The US pays for the troops, military equipment, operations, etc. Japanese law does apply on base with exceptions listed in the SOFA agreement.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Naturally, most or all of you don't know but virus rules on American bases are much stricter than all of japan, even to the point of not allowing unvaccinated people on base.

To add, all US military personnel must be vaccinated. Remember, it's joe's madate.

So again, it's the vaccines. They aren't working like they should.

But yeah, go ahead and display your bigoted, biased hatred for people you don't even know because chances are you don't complain about clusters in japan.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

@Randy Johnson

We are back to middle ages medical mysticism in which if people get ill, it means they signed and therefore it's their fault, and need to repent for their sins.

Now it is something similar, in which if the virus spreads it means "they are not following the rules" and "it is their fault" the pandemic doesn't end.

It is a pandemic of holier-than-thouism, blaming others, and just being horrible to each other.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

It's a fact that Covid-19 will always be with us, variants after variants until the greek alphabet is not enough to cover this.

The question is what is the long-term plan. No Plan seems Japan enough.

We have vaccines, we have treatments, we have medicine, we have testing... if this is not enough, at least to open it with 14 days quarantine(paid by the traveler at the designated government-appointed hotel) and all medical expenses paid by the traveler, then Japan will deserve all the hate pilling up.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Unfortunately, there are a lot of rules that some of our troops stationed here (the bad apples) don't follow.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

“*Me love you long time*!?? -

@UK9393 1:17pm: “Remember what the Vietcong soldier was shouting in Apocalypse Now?

Yeah. THAT”

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

However, will agree “tanks were ineffective in the soggy Vietnamese terrain”.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Not only should the "grunts" remain on base, the "locals" must remain off base. If not, they will bring what they were infected with to their families.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

“(1) coronavirus testing and (2) quarantine rules"

(1) From my perspective, most people are not being testing in Japan because of the cost. Go to a clinic or hospital, they will charge you a pretty penny to be tested but a vaccine is free of charge.

(2) My students, unfortunately, have been sickened by this virus. No "quarantine rules” were implemented. That is one place in Japan. How many more are there?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Our installation posts #’s every week. And for the past few months, the trend has always been “An unvaccinated Japanese worker was diagnosed after displaying symptoms. There are no other reports.”… followed the next week by “A vaccinated service member was diagnosed after close contact tracing. One Japanese worker remains. No other reports”… followed the next week by “Three servicemembers were diagnosed after displaying symptoms, two after close contact tracing. One Japanese worker has recovered. The total count is six.” So forth and so on until it dies out and then starts to pickup again. And now, after a few months of this cycle, we can now follow up these reports with “Hayashi demands strict enforcement”.

Here’s the rub. You could LOCK the base gates… and it won’t help. Supplies come in… supplies go out… and it will creep in and out and touch a SOFA member only long enough for it to spread.   Besides, SOFA mostly tests before they get on the plane… they test again when they land… they test again somewhere between days 5 and 10 of the required ROM period during which they are prohibited from using public transportation or doing anything off base except transit between home and base (if they reside off-base), and while off-base are required by USFJ to wear masks (yes, I know some don’t).  

It isn’t the inbound travelers, as a whole, causing issues. The precautions are good enough.  The issue is that It only takes one a$$h0le to do something slightly wrong, or even nothing wrong, to be exposed and bring it onbase.  And yes… it will cause a cluster of mild-flu-but-lets-pretend-its-the-apocolypse.

Yea… guests and all that…. But unless Hayashi is going to look into the numbers in the metro areas (Tokyo, etc.) the preventative measures Japan has in place are less effective than that of most SOFA installations.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

mild-flu-but-lets-pretend-its-the-apocolypse.

Mild flu to most, deadly to the unfortunate older people or younger person with compromised immune system.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Randy

Asahi Shimbun Nov. 16

"A person associated with the U.S. military tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival at Narita Airport but instead of being quarantined took a flight to Naha the next day,"

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Japan tells USA to close the stable door after the horse bolted.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Simply prohibit military personnel from leaving the base, and make the base off limits to Japanese civilians and other citizens.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Mild flu to most, deadly to the unfortunate older people or younger person with compromised immune system.

So…. same as the flu.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Unprofessional conduct by the American troops in Japan and the blame lays squarely with the command elements for not ensuring worlds best practice for limiting the spread of covid within their base personnel. Either they have no concern for the troops under their command or no respect for the locals or both. New leadership should be demanded ASAP.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I wonder how many tests per day the base performs and reports compared to all of Japan? If it’s anything like the US they are testing the crap out of people and will always look bad.

A dozen tests in my family this week - no kidding.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

With all due respect to the people posting here, you and the Japanese minister need to get your facts before making negative comments about the situation in Okinawa. The US military has a very strict testing program for all military personnel coming into Japan, as well as for those stationed here. But like everywhere else, they also have a couple of bad apples like our host country. But I don't see the Japanese government applying the same strictness on their people. As a matter of fact, the government announced today they would not be applying any restrictions on the population to combat the new outbreak in the country. Enough said.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So, they don't know the real situation but are demanding bases make stricter virus rules and enforce them, then in the next breath says they themselves are not going to reinforce rules and make things stricter despite the spread of Omicron. I wonder what the difference (in racial make-up) is... hmmm...

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

So far, those infected are Local National workers, not military. And commenter “Good,” what a great idea! You obviously did a lot of research before posing your solution. Perhaps GOJ should hire you as a consultant.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The US-JPN Mutual Defense Treaty can be terminated by either side with one year's notice. So yes, Both Japan and the US have a choice. The Treaty continues because both parties benefit from it.

Japanese are proud people, no way would the US be on their soil of they had a choice. I'm sure a referendum would be 90% in favour of them leaving. Never going to get put to the people is it?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

At this moment, what we can do is just banning the US soldiers from going out from the base. That is the minimal request to the US. it is ourage to me that I saw a UD soldier driving overdrunk, causing a an accident!!

They look down on Okinawa people.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Is this base a holiday base for serviceman. When in the army etc, first rule drummed or beaten into you is to obey orders. I assume all army , forces, etc have this golden rules or you would not win battles ? Really the USA forces should do a independent review of personal performance. This should been done after Korea and every oversea deployment since. If they did the results would be different. It seem to me the 2 biggest problem is failure to take directions and arrogances. I assume the firsts problem creates the second problem.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

ChibakunDec. 23  11:23 pm JST

The US-JPN Mutual Defense Treaty can be terminated by either side with one year's notice. So yes, Both Japan and the US have a choice. The Treaty continues because both parties benefit from it.

Japanese are proud people, no way would the US be on their soil of they had a choice. I'm sure a referendum would be 90% in favour of them leaving. Never going to get put to the people is it?

Has nothing to do with national pride. The Japanese are an intelligent people and they recognize that the benefits of the US-JPN defense treaty outweigh the negatives.

What country holds a national referendum on it's national security? Not any major nation I know of.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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