Japan urges U.S. military forces to stay on base as COVID-19 cases rise

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A Japanese foreign minister has called for members of the US military to remain at their bases to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as the country faces a wave.

US Secretary of State Antoine BlinkenAntony BlinkenOvernight Defense & National Security – White House responds to report on US forces Why political violence and economic grievances engulfing Kazakhstan are important Kazakh President issues “shoot to kill” order to quell protests and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi spoke on the phone about security measures ahead of Hayashi’s request on Thursday, according to The Associated Press.

Blinken has vowed that the United States will provide as much aid as possible and that the United States military is already strengthening its protocols to combat the spread of the virus.

Regardless of vaccine status, all military personnel in Japan must remain masked until they have received three negative COVID-19 tests. The new policy is in addition to an earlier rule requiring everyone to be masked when off base, the AP reported.

“The mitigation measures we have instituted across the USFJ are aimed at protecting the readiness of our force, the well-being of our families, and the health of Japanese citizens. We recognize that we all have a role to play in keeping our communities safe, ”US forces in Japan said, according to the AP.

Areas like Okinawa and Iwakuni in southern Japan, where large groups of US forces are based, have seen notable spikes in COVID-19 infections, the press service added.

the Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University said the country had seen just over 6,000 cases in the past week, notably fewer than the record 158,548 cases seen in one week in August of last year.

Although Japan has never had a lockdown, it has imposed various restrictions on opening hours or limits on the number of people a restaurant can serve, but those measures ended in September, a noted the AP.


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