Black mark: A U.S. military veteran who claims to have witnessed the burial of dozens of drums of Agent Orange in 1969 points to the site on a map. Today the area is a busy shopping district in the heart of touristy Chatan, Okinawa Prefecture. JOE SIPALA
U.S. veteran fears toxin now beneath popular civilian area
By JON MITCHELL
Special to The Japan Times
Dozens of barrels of the toxic defoliant Agent Orange were buried in the late 1960s beneath what is now a busy neighborhood in the central Okinawa Island town of Chatan, near Araha Beach, according to a former U.S. soldier who has recently pinpointed the location thanks to a 1970 map of a U.S. base obtained by The Japan Times.
The alleged burial took place in 1969 when the area was part of the U.S. Hamby Air Field, but since its return to civilian use in 1981 the area has been redeveloped into a sightseeing area. Nearby today are restaurants, hotels and apartment buildings on a street running parallel to popular Araha Beach.
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