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Okinawan taxi driver infected amid virus outbreaks at U.S. bases

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The US military is going to be even less popular than ever now...

13 ( +16 / -3 )

But those that fly directly to one of the bases in the country and are not showing symptoms of COVID-19 are not required to,

time to change some rules rather than “review” them

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Should also be noted that 3 American military family members flew into Haneda a couple days ago from the US, and took the coronavirus test on arrival like everyone. Since it still takes a coupe days to get results back, they were allowed to leave with the (self-imposed) restriction to not use public transport and stay at a local hotel. The group agreed and also stated they would rent a car after getting their results.

They flew by domestic airplane to Yamagata (Iwakuni Air Bse) instead.

They then all tested positive for coronaviurs when the results came back the next day.

The airport quarantine staff then couldn't find them for a day or two since they had already flown to Iwakuni and were no longer at the contact location (hotel) they said.

Read about it here:

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13546977

8 ( +20 / -12 )

in 80s... hope he will recover.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Stay on base. Simple as that. These US Military personnel should not be mixing with locals, getting taxis and attending drinking parties etc, off base. An 80 year old like this taxi driver is at serious risk due to this virus. I hope he is OK.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

They flew by domestic airplane to Yamagata (Iwakuni Air Bse) instead.

Sorry, meant to say Iwakuni Air Base was in Yamaguchi, not Yamagata.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The moment American cases surged in March, Japanese gov’t should have had their eyes on the Okinawa American bases. Colossal failure!

4 ( +13 / -9 )

If the military personnel wore face mask and taxi driver wore face mask and its doors windows were open, it would be much less possible to get infected. Not much information about it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

And the so called BS Military family story,...Their required to Quarantine for fourteen days upon arrival from the States.

And they didn't. The left within a day and flew domestically before even getting their test results. And they all tested positive.

How is this BS?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I hope that taxi driver gets well soon.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

And how exactly do they pin point that this ojiisan was infected by a military personnel exactly?

Its impossible.

He could have picked it anywhere.

3 ( +20 / -17 )

People talk of vaccine importance, but I think more important is an airport test giving immediate result. In other words, a device that works like sniffer dogs.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just now watching the news on TV. Video of hundreds of military in Okinawa partying on the streets on and off base on July 4th without face coverings. I now change my stance. To the commanders of ALL bases in Japan. Get better control of your personnel. You are embarrassing us proudly served Americans living in Japan.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@Richard Burgan: You said: "The disease didn't exist in Okinawa until the US military brought it here." Did you mean it didn't exist in Okinawa before July 7? Of course it did exist as there were 150 cases reported in Okinawa prior to that date. I might be misconstruing your meaning. If so I apologize.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@ since1981Today  

@Yubaru today 09:55

i see your point and totally agree. However, the base Commanders know that the bases in Japan always being watched closely. Always looking for something to complain about. So, they need to be more careful not to add wood to the fire.

Wood, why bother when a virus is more newsworthy and is doing a better job. The celebrations should not have taken place under the circumstances. Why take the risk?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In his 80s, and driving US military personnel...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Jax: At the time the elderly taxi driver was infected (7/4-7/8) there had been no COVID-19 cases in Okinawa for 64-68 days. The disease didn't exist in Okinawa until the US military brought it here. Shortly after the military announced its infections Okinawa announced that two people returning to Okinawa were infected (7/7). It is highly likely that the taxi driver picked up the infection from the Marines he drove.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

This is intolerable. Once these undisciplined super spreaders recover, ship them home.

Help save Japan.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

"The southern island prefecture, which hosts the bulk of U.S. military facilities in Japan" is no longer a true statement.

What isn't true about it? The fact that when you are forced to give up part of your house to outsiders you are a hostage rather than a host?

What prefecture has more U.S. bases than Okinawa?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@Yubaru today 09:55

i see your point and totally agree. However, the base Commanders know that the bases in Japan always being watched closely. Always looking for something to complain about. So, they need to be more careful not to add wood to the fire.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

you cannot assume the transmission vector, this report it's a presumption

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Tamaki also called for a review of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement, which exempts American troops from Japanese quarantine guidelines and allows them to sidestep an entry ban on foreign travelers from the United States and other countries beset by the pandemic.

This is the culprit and the main reason why the American COVID-19 version is spreading in the Ryukyus.

Such a tragedy will repeat itself as long as Okinawa is still da-kine the Crimea of Asia.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Among passengers of the taxi driven by the man living in the city of Okinawa was at least one person related to U.S. Marine Corps Camp Hansen, where 58 coronavirus cases have been reported, it said.

In addition to the base, 73 cases have been linked to U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, with another five confirmed at Kadena Air Base, and one each at Camp McTureous and Camp Kinser.

It seems Okinawa is the only place in the world where American military bases outnumber Family Marts and Lawsons by a wide margin.

No wonder it has become an open city for COVID-19 imported directly from America.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

oh ok so they want the base lock down from the rest of Okinawa, thats fair and is a good thing, but if it affects the livelihoods of Japanese who depend on the base for income then we should give them, a free pass!?

lock down only works if the flow of people ceases both ways, only necessary items need to be brought in

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It seems Okinawa is the only place in the world where American military bases outnumber Family Marts and Lawsons by a wide margin.

Sarcasm runs deep in this one!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@YubaruToday  01:36 pm JST

It seems Okinawa is the only place in the world where American military bases outnumber Family Marts and Lawsons by a wide margin.

Sarcasm runs deep in this one!

I would normally agree, but IMO "hair salons and barber shops got them all licked. You can find one in just about every corner on the island..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What is contact tracing?

Contact tracing is used by health departments to prevent the spread of infectious disease. In general, contact tracing involves identifying people who have an infectious disease (cases) and their contacts (people who may have been exposed) and working with them to interrupt disease transmission.

Contract tracing is effective when there are no uknown infection routes.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's a colossal failure by the central government. Opaque testing, opaque quarantine, even more opaque containment coupled with suppression of information. From what I hear, testing and information sharing in the various bases are much more stringent and transparent than in the general Japanese population.

Pointing the finger and saying 'possibly' is acting in bad faith. This kind of story must be investigated thoroughly rather than just go to print. It's not hard to ask for tracing evidence, genetic strains, timeline etc.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Taxidriver in his 80’s ??

I hope the man recovers quickly but while I am against a general age law on driving, for professional drivers there should be very strict rules. Taxi , truck and bus drivers in particular.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Among passengers of the taxi driven by the man living in the city of Okinawa was at least one person related to U.S. Marine Corps Camp Hansen, where 58 coronavirus cases have been reported, it said.

Key word there is ''related'' and "possibly" was also written but you know how it plays out: the military is responsible. No doubt about it. The convenient scapegoat is always there to take the blame. A taxi driver gets the coronavirus in (name a place outside Okinawa) and it is not national news. Let me give you tomorrow's headline ahead of time - another person who kind of thought about glancing over at one of the bases last week is positive and it's the fault of you-know-who. You heard it here first.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The military in Okinawa are essential for the protection of Japan and the U.S. Both countries are no doubt working hard to rectify the situation and make everyone safe. I hope there are no deaths.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

From the very informative link posted by 'Hank standerford' at 09:06 am:

"People were social distancing...in dat video it looks like so many people were dere, which it was a lot of people, but dat was just for dat moment dat it, dat people got together like dat." -Aiamshiti (I am C.T.?)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

On February 1st, more than 13 cruise passengers disembarked the Diamond Princess in Naha. A female taxi cab driver in her 60s was infected at that time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"all Japanese nationals that work at the base should cease immediately, only food and necessities should be delivered until the virus is contained"

How do those families support themselves if they are put out of work? Just asking.

"Stay on base. Simple as that."

Not possible for US Government contractors for one. They must live off base and unless they are veterans cannot use the exchange or commissary. They have to live off base and shop in civilian stores. Many military families likewise live off base. Getting personnel to move a family abroad is a big deal, and very disruptive. It might surprise some but service members negotiate their next assignment with their service, keeping in mind that the nature of their next job can affect their next promotion and their ability to stay in the service until retirement. The opportunity to live in a foreign country off base is often used as a lure to get members into accepting all the hassle of moving their belongings and cars abroad, dealing with pets who in some cases have to be quarantined in the foreign country and countless other things that make such moves so difficult. Much easier to simply take a new job in the same area you are posted. I also don't think most of these bases have enough family sized housing to house all the service members posted there and their families.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Q)"And how exactly do they pin point that this ojiisan was infected by a military personnel exactly?

A) It is called contact tracing.

What is contact tracing?

Contact tracing is used by health departments to prevent the spread of infectious disease. In general, contact tracing involves identifying people who have an infectious disease (cases) and their contacts (people who may have been exposed) and working with them to interrupt disease transmission.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The US is exporting their irresponsible behavior to Japan. I don't understand why Japan still wants to keep their bases.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

What was a man in his 80s doing driving a car much less driving other people around? He is more of a health hazard than any US soldier

That is the most reaching I have seen in quite a while. The taxi driver keeps passing his driving tests. Dozens of U.S. soldiers failed the tests on public safety from a deadly virus. SMH

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

An 80 year old like this taxi driver is at serious risk due to this virus. I hope he is OK.

all Japanese nationals that work at the base should cease immediately, only food and necessities should be delivered until the virus is contained

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@

Ligger2Today  02:58 pm JST

On February 1st, more than 13 cruise passengers disembarked the Diamond Princess in Naha. A female taxi cab driver in her 60s was infected at that time.

Where were the 13 cruise passengers from? What about the bus driver down South on mainland Japan? I sure didn't see this kind of response.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This is intolerable. Once these undisciplined super spreaders recover, ship them home.

That will never happen, and you know it.

Help save Japan.

This definitely gets my nomination for drama queen of the year

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

 The celebrations should not have taken place under the circumstances. Why take the risk?

Hindsight is 20/20......people seem to conveniently forget that there were zero restrictions on anyone at the time these parties took place.

This is putting blame, after the fact.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Here is the culprit on Okinawa who spreader this.

https://youtu.be/C9HBUhTiD4c

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Just now watching the news on TV. Video of hundreds of military in Okinawa partying on the streets on and off base on July 4th without face coverings.

Ok, but playing devils advocate here, there were no restrictions in place, for either Japanese nor American military in Okinawa at the time.

Take a look at Tokyo, they dropped all restrictions and now have been getting between 150 to 200 cases a day, mostly from the younger generation.

It's easy to point fingers, but until someone actually tests to check the origin of where the virus originated, it's really all speculation on just who is the "guilty" party.

I could show some shots of younger people here in Okinawa doing the very same thing, and no one would raise an eyebrow

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

What is going on down there in Okinawa, besides the false outdated statement "The southern island prefecture, which hosts the bulk of U.S. military facilities in Japan" is no longer a true statement.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Among passengers of the taxi driven by the man living in the city of Okinawa was at least one person related to U.S. Marine Corps Camp Hansen, where 58 coronavirus cases have been reported, it said.

In addition to the base, 73 cases have been linked to U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, with another five confirmed at Kadena Air Base, and one each at Camp McTureous and Camp Kinser.

It seems Okinawa is the only place in the world where American military bases outnumber Family Marts and Lawsons by a wide margin.

No wonder it has become an open city for COVID-19 imported directly from America.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

It is called contact tracing.

So why was it not used? Along with many other methods for containing outbreaks. Instead, we have speculation and conjecture as to 'possibly' from a passenger.

Really, this is all the Okinawan municipal government has, 'possibly'?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

What was a man in his 80s doing driving a car much less driving other people around? He is more of a health hazard than any US soldier

-7 ( +12 / -19 )

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