Pentagon to admit pesticides dumped but not Vietnam War defoliant
A U.S. Department of Defense investigation into the presence of Agent Orange on Okinawa Island is set to support veterans’ allegations of the clandestine burial of potentially harmful chemicals there — but dismiss claims that the toxic Vietnam War defoliant was among them.Sources knowledgeable about the final report say the inquiry is likely to uphold accounts that large amounts of military supplies, including pesticides, were dumped during the 1960s and ’70s at Okinawa installations — possibly including U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma and a former military installation in the town of Chatan.
The admission is likely to fuel demands in the prefecture for environmental tests to ensure that the land — some of which has been returned to civilian use — is no longer contaminated.
According to information obtained by The Japan Times, the Pentagon launched the inquiry at the request of the Japanese government nine months ago. Full details of the final report will be announced in Washington next Tuesday at a meeting attended by officials from the Japanese Embassy and representatives from the Department of Veterans Affairs — the agency responsible for deciding redress for service members sickened in the line of duty.
READ MORE: Agent Orange in Okinawa