On Okinawa, since the end of World War Two, hundreds of thousands of US service members and their families have worked and lived on bases contaminated with hazardous substances including dioxin, asbestos, lead, PFAS and PCBs.
In the United States, the Department of Defense and Environmental Protection Agency make information related to military exposures publicly available - but there is no such transparency for DoD facilities on Okinawa and mainland Japan.
To help those experiencing illnesses which may be related to time spent on Okinawa, the following reports are now available for download. Further information and a timeline of major incidents (1947 - 2019) can be found in the forthcoming book, Poisoning the Pacific (Rowman & Littlefield), which also reveals the extent of contamination on Guam, the Marshall Islands and throughout the western Pacific region.
Active - or retired - US service members with materials documenting other sources of contamination on Okinawa are encouraged to contact the author - in confidence - at PoisoningThePacific [at] gmail.com
Jon Mitchell September 2020
"Arsenic Poisoning of Beef Cattle," United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands, January 3, 1962. Description: Report into deaths of cows following usage of herbicides in northern Okinawa.
"Military Housing Inspections - Japan," Department of Defense Inspector General, September 30, 2014. Description: Surveys of military housing for compliance with mold, water quality, lead-based paint, asbestos, pest infestation, radon, and radiation standards.
Testimonies from service members who believe they were exposed to military herbicides, such as Agent Orange, while serving on Okinawa are available here and an overview of the issue - including a list of winning VA claims - is available here.