The U.S. Air Force’s Yokota base has told nearby local governments that it will soon complete cleanup operations stemming from a fuel-spill at the base in 1993.
Local authorities said the U.S. military told them on May 16 that water quality in and around the western Tokyo base now meets Japanese and U.S. standards.
The military also said it has cleaned up about 60,000 liters of fuel from the accident, according to the authorities.
On Oct. 25, 1993, it was confirmed that fuel used for aircraft was missing from tanks located 3 meters underground inside the base. The U.S. military later announced that 68,000 liters of fuel had leaked.
Local governments demanded that the base clean up the fuel and investigate whether the area was polluted. The base began the investigations in 1995.
Officials from six local governments hosting the base, including Fussa and Tachikawa, as well as representatives from the Environment Ministry and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, took part in the May 16 briefing.
The U.S. decision is expected to be presented to a joint Japan-U.S. committee in June, the authorities said.
Five marines arrested
NAHA, Okinawa Pref. (Kyodo) Five U.S. Marine Corps soldiers have been arrested in Okinawa Prefecture over four separate incidents apparently involving alcohol, police said.
The first case involved an accident around 12 a.m. Saturday in which Lance Cpl. Aaron Itsell allegedly caused unspecified damage while riding a minibike, the police said.
Around 1 a.m., police were alerted of four marines who reportedly left a taxi without paying a fare of some 4,800 yen.
In connection with the incident, police said they arrested Pfc. Andhla Genama, 20, and an 18-year-old marine whose name has not been released because he is considered a minor in Japan. The two other suspects are at large.
The two other incidents involved two marines stationed at Camp Zukeran in central Okinawa.
Police said Lance Cpl. Rico Meritt, 22, was arrested around 3 a.m. over allegedly damaging the glass entrance of a civic hall in the city of Okinawa, while Pfc. Michael Potts, 21, was arrested about 30 minutes later for trespassing on the premises of a civilian home in the same city.
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