July 17, 2020 Ryukyu Shimpo.
Upon receiving news that cases of persons infected with the novel coronavirus are being confirmed one after another on U.S. military bases, residents of municipalities in the north-central part of Okinawa Island are making one inquiry after another. As apprehension spreads among residents, there is discussion concerning the high likelihood of coming into contact with persons related to the U.S. military, and whether residents will be able to receive PCR testing.
As of July 16 there have been inquiries made in Ginowan City and Okinawa City the central part of Okinawa Island, which hosts Futenma Air Station and Kadena Air Base, concerning the spread of the coronavirus on U.S. military bases. Several instances from restaurants and other businesses near to the military base in Ginowan City have occurred in which persons related to the U.S. military have entered these shops, contributing to residents’ apprehension. As of July 16 there were 25 inquiries concerning the U.S. military renting a civilian hotel in Chatan Town for isolation of reassigned personnel.
As of July 16 residents of Onna Village and nearby Kin Town, which hosts Camp Hansen, contributed to discussions in the northern part of Okinawa Island. In Kin Town, there have been several topics of discussion each day since July 9, and residents are asking questions such as “Is it ok for persons employed by the military to come and go from the military base?” One topic of inquiry was raised on July 15 in Onna Village by a resident who lives next door to a guesthouse, this being: “Foreign persons are also using the guesthouses. How are [residents in the vicinity] supposed to go about receiving PCR testing?”
(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)