Thursday, March 21, 2013

US Government released “Investigations into Allegations of Herbicide Orange on Okinawa, Japan”
At the request of journalists, on March 9, the US Government released a report “Investigations into Allegations of Herbicide Orange on Okinawa, Japan” (embedded below) about which Jon Mitchell wrote in The Japan Times on February 15  It appears that the US Government wants to bring a closure to the issues of Agent Orange on Okinawa by providing the report, together with the Japanese Government. 
The report concludes that “there were no documents found that validated the allegations that Herbicide Orange was involved in any of these events, nor were there records to validate that Herbicide Orange was shipped to or through, unloaded, used or buried on Okinawa”.

According to the author of the report, Dr. Alvin Yong it took 9 months to carry out the investigation through “an in-depth search of historical records and information”.  However, the report is only 29 pages long. No interview with veterans who bravely testified about their exposure to Agent Orange during their service on Okinawa was conduced for the investigation.

The report also casts doubt on whether the Japanese Government honestly requested the US Government to carry out a thorough investigation with its aim of seeking the truth.
Local people have already taken action. Dr. Masami Kawamura, Director, Environmental Policy and Justice of Citizens’ Network for Biodiversity in Okinawa (Okinawa BD), has submitted a petition to the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly, requesting the prefecture to examine and analyze the report for themselves.  Okinawa BD itself has started reviewing the report and has been convinced that this report is one more reason why the investigation on the issues of Agent Orange on Okinawa must go on.

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