Original title: The barracks epidemic cannot be controlled until the US military stationed in Japan resumes new crown testing
In December 2021, a US military camp in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, experienced an outbreak of COVID-19 mass infection. It was accidentally exposed that American soldiers had the “privilege” of not being tested for COVID-19 before going to Japan. Japanese media reported on January 1 that as the number of new cases at this US military base has doubled in the past few days, the US military stationed in Japan finally decided to resume and strengthen testing.
The Hansen camp of the US military stationed in Japan in Okinawa Prefecture reported a new crown epidemic in December 2021, and the surge in cases continued until the end of the month. According to data released by Okinawa County, this US military base reported 20 new confirmed cases on December 29, 45 new confirmed cases on the 30th, and new cases reported on the 31st doubled to 98. So far, the number of confirmed cases of new crown related to US military bases in Okinawa Prefecture has reached 3,378.
After the outbreak in the Hansen camp, the Japanese government said that the Japanese side learned that the US military will exempt all soldiers from the obligation to undergo COVID-19 testing in the previous days from September 2021 on the grounds that they have been vaccinated for the entire course of COVID-19. In this regard, Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Lin Fang is expressing regret to the US military stationed in Japan.
According to the Japanese media, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was extremely displeased with the US’s actions and ordered a “solitary protest” to the US. An official at the prime minister’s residence said that the US’s contempt was “intolerable.” The U.S. subsequently restored the requirement that U.S. military personnel and related personnel must undergo nucleic acid testing for the new coronavirus within 72 hours before they arrive.
As the outbreak of the US military base in Japan worsened, the US military finally decided to increase the number of tests. Japanese media reported on January 1 this year that the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the US military stationed in Japan sent a notice: The US has decided to require US military personnel and related personnel to undergo nucleic acid testing within 24 hours after entering Japan from December 30, 2021.
Therefore, the U.S. military needs to do 3 nucleic acid tests before and after going to Japan, that is, within 72 hours before leaving the country, within 24 hours after entering the country, and on the 5th day after entering the country.
For a long time, Okinawa Prefecture has been suffering from problems such as noise from US military bases and soldier crimes. The U.S. military’s leak of epidemic prevention this time made the people of Okinawa even more angry and uneasy.
In response to the hidden dangers of epidemic prevention brought by the US military, Okinawa Prefecture Governor Tamaki Danny last week called on US military personnel to wear masks outside the base to strengthen epidemic prevention measures. However, this request does not seem to be taken seriously by the US.
The Ryukyu News reported that after Yucheng negotiated with the US, media reporters saw many US military personnel still not wearing masks while shopping in the commercial area outside the base. When asked why he did not follow the epidemic prevention measures to wear masks, a US military officer replied that “troublesome, glasses will fog up.”