Dozens of U.S. Marines Infected With Coronavirus on Okinawa Military Bases

FILE – This Jan. 27, 2018, aerial file photo shows U.S. Marine Air Station Futenma in Ginowan, Okinawa, southern Japan. Okinawan officials said Saturday, July 11, 2020 that dozens of U.S. Marines have been confirmed to have infected with the coronavirus at two bases, Futenma and Camp Hansen, on the southern Japanese island in what is feared to be a massive outbreak, and demanded adequate explanation from the U.S. military officials. (Kyodo News via AP, File)

Dozens of U.S. Marines have been infected with the new coronavirus in military bases in Japan’s Okinawa Island, Japanese officials said.

Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki said Saturday during a televised news conference that the U.S. military has confirmed that “a large number” of military personnel have been infected, but there’s no official word on the exact number of cases, the Japan Times reported.

Local media, citing identified sources, said that at least 50 cases have been found in the base.

“I was shocked by the content of the report. It is extremely regrettable that such a large number of cases have occurred in such a short period of time,” Tamaki said. “I can’t help but have doubts about infection prevention measures [taken by the U.S. military],” added the governor, who demanded more transparency from U.S. officials.

According to The Associated Press, Tamaki said that local officials have asked the Japanese government to demand that the U.S. military provide detailed information on the infections; seal off Marine Corps Air Station Futenma and Camp Hansen; and implement tighter preventive measures in the area.

“We have also received reports that people linked to the U.S. military have ventured out into the downtown area or participated in beach parties before and after the July 4 celebrations,” Tamaki said, adding that he had set up a meeting with other local leaders to discuss the issue.

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SOURCE: New York Daily News, Muri Assunção