Friday 07 August 2020, 11:16 PM
Japan urges US military to take COVID-19 tests
By IANS | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 7/19/2020 11:42:51 AM
Japan urges US military to take COVID-19 tests

Tokyo: Japanese Defence Minister Taro Kono said that he has urged the US to conduct coronavirus testing for all American military personnel before and after arriving in the Asian country following COVID-19 outbreaks at the bases in Okinawa prefecture.

Addressing the media on Friday, Kono said that the Defence Ministry has requested that Japan-bound US military personnel should take one test before leaving Washington and another when they arrive in the Asian country, reports Xinhua news agency."With so many asymptomatic people, PCR testing is a must," Kono said, adding that tests needed to be carried out without exception.Kono said the US side has said it was considering the request.

Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki has also asked the US side to clarify whether or not they were taking the necessary COVID-19prevention measures, including a two-week quarantine.Tamaki has also called for the Japan-US Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) to be reviewed as American military personnel are exempt from Japan's quarantine rules and travel bans.

On Thursday, the US Marine Corps Camp Hansen in Okinawa reported 58 new coronavirus cases, the prefectural government said. Meanwhile, 73 cases have been linked to US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, five were confirmed at Kadena Air Base, and one each at Camp McTureous and Camp Kinser, officials said.

The total number of COVID-19 cases at US military bases in Okinawa stood at 138 on Thursday, the prefectural government said, adding that amid fears of the virus spreading to the local population, an elderly taxi driver had tested positive for COVID-19.

The driver, in his 80s, was known to have had contact with US military personnel, officials said.Tamaki has urged the central government to suspend US military transfers to Okinawa as soon as possible. Okinawa hosts the bulk of US military facilities in Japan.

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Japanese,Defence Minister,Taro Kono,US,coronavirus,American,personnel,COVID-19,

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