US Agent Orange scandal in Japan


This video is called Decades On, Agent Orange Still Stalks Vietnam.

By Jon Mitchell, The Asia-Pacific Journal:

US Military Defoliants on Okinawa: Agent Orange

Thursday 15 September 2011

Introduction

On August 19th, 2011, Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement in response to recent media coverage about the US military’s use and storage of defoliants (including Agent Orange) on Okinawa during the Vietnam War. MOFA announced that, although it had requested the US Department of Defense to investigate these allegations, Washington had replied that it was unable to find any evidence from the period in question. As a result, Tokyo asked the US government to re-check its records in more detail. This was the first time that the Japanese government had asked the US about military defoliants since 2007 – and its refusal to accept the Pentagon’s stock denial was rare. The current announcement arose after two weeks of unprecedented press reports which alleged that these chemicals had been widely used on Okinawa during the 1960s and ‘70s.

With fresh revelations coming to light on a regular basis, this is still a rapidly developing issue. However in this paper, I will attempt to unravel the situation as it currently stands. Starting with a brief overview of the role of Okinawa during the Vietnam War and the military’s use of defoliants during the conflict, I will then explore the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) rulings of 1998 and 2009 that appeared to offer official recognition of the presence of these defoliants on the island. Following this, I will summarize US veterans’ accounts of their experiences handling these defoliants on Okinawa – including their transportation, storage, spraying and burial. In conclusion, I will assess the obstacles that these veterans and Okinawan residents face in winning an admission from the Pentagon – plus possible signs of hope that, while difficult, such an acknowledgement is achievable.

Children of Agent Orange: here.

“Scorched Earth: Legacies of Chemical Warfare in Vietnam”. Fred A. Wilcox, Seven Stories Press: “The old soldier wears a long-sleeved shirt and shorts. His feet are bare and when he talks he appears to be listening carefully to his own words. Once, he says, this area of Cu Chi was covered with mangrove forests and jungles. Then, the spray planes appeared, moving slowly and quite low over the trees, back and forth until everything shriveled up and died”: here.

It’s Time to Compensate the Victims: Looking Back at Vietnam and Agent Orange. H. Patricia Hynes, Truthout: “In ‘Waiting for an Army to Die,’ Fred A. Wilcox … recounts the stories of Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange and also of Oregon mothers, Arizona potters, and others living near sprayed public lands, all of whom were suffering from a plague of cancers, nervous system effects, miscarriages and birth disorders of their children…. Wilcox takes us inside the tragic, yet gutsy lives of young, working-class vets who were left to die by ‘government stonewalling, bureaucratic shell games and the contempt of multinational corporations'”: here.

A mere 34% of 1940-1960s US Vietnam war records have been released: here.

Britain: Shocked MPs are organising a Westminster fundraising event for young Vietnamese victims of US defoliant Agent Orange after witnessing tragic suffering in a Ho Chi Minh City hospital: here.

Japan’s Illegal Environmental Impact Assessment of the Henoko Base. Sakurai Kunitoshi, The Asia-Pacific Journal – Japan Focus: “Before dawn on December 28, 2011, with the end of the year looming, the Okinawa Defense Bureau (ODB) delivered a load of cardboard boxes to the office of the Okinawa Prefectural Government. The boxes contained copies of the environmental impact statement (EIS) for a base in the Henoko district of Nago that is planned as the replacement for the US Marines Corps Air Station Futenma”: here.

The United States has announced its intention to pull 9,000 marines out of Japan’s southern Okinawa and redeploy them to other locations in the Asia-Pacific region: here.

10 thoughts on “US Agent Orange scandal in Japan

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  4. Governor opposes Osprey air base

    Japan: The governor of the southern island of Okinawa has publicly opposed a plan to station US Osprey aircraft there.

    Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima told Defence Minister Satoshi Morimoto today that he could not accept the US plan to deploy the new aircraft.

    Mr Morimoto also visited Yamaguchi prefecture, which has also rejected the Osprey.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/120867

    Like

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