Read the full article by Pat Elder (Military Poisons)

“The fire training area of Yokota Air Base, 40 kilometers northwest of Tokyo, is shown on this Google Maps image. This is where massive volumes of carcinogenic PFAS-laden foams entered the environment. The entire region is contaminated by this activity.

People are drinking poisoned water, eating poisoned fish, and their blood shows dangerous levels of the carcinogens. Meanwhile, U.S. Forces Japan wages a misinformation campaign to convince the public it’s not a big deal, that exposure is limited to drinking water, and that the contamination is only caused by the toxic firefighting foams that they’ve promised not to use anymore.  

Let’s take a closer look at the fire training areas. 

Fire Training Area, Yokota Air Base in 2023.  35.752595, 139.355424     – Google Maps

A simulated fire at Yokota Air Base, March 8, 2018.   – U.S. Air Force photo

Firefighters extinguish a simulated blaze at Yokota Air Base on August 1, 2016.   – Air Force photo

For nearly fifty years the United States military has conducted routine fire training exercises like this at hundreds of installations around the world. They used aqueous film-forming foam, (AFFF). AFFF contains per- and poly fluoroalkyl substances, (PFAS). The foams were allowed to drain into the soil.

It is a ghastly environmental crime that profoundly impacts humanity, although few are listening.

In 2020 the Pentagon announced that it had discontinued the use of foams containing PFAS in training exercises. Since then, Congress has required the DOD to stop buying PFAS-based foams by October 1, 2023, and to stop using them entirely by October 1, 2024. This is good, but the military continues to use the toxins in various industrial applications, like engine cleaning and chrome plating.

There are no regulations limiting the use or discharge of the chemicals from U.S. military bases into the Japanese environment. It doesn’t work that way. The U.S. military does whatever it wants to do.  The toxins eventually find their way into groundwater and surface water where they poison aquatic life humans consume.

More images from Google Maps:

Fire training area JASDF Komatsu Air Base 36.3939731, 136.4126303 – Google Maps

Fire training area at Misawa Air Base 40.7062695, 141.3814782   – Google Maps

Fire Training area at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma 26.2819992, 127.7699133 – Google Maps

Fleet Activities Yokosuka 35.296224, 139.6751747 – Google Maps

What have they done to this land in Yokosuka?

The Navy must provide us with a truly independent 3rd-party report on the chemical contaminants in the soil, subsurface soil, groundwater, surface water, and air from Yokosuka.

We have much of this information from most naval facilities in the U.S., although Hawaii is a glaring exception. Like Japan, the DOD has failed to publicize analytical results of PFAS contamination in a host of environmental media. In Hawaii, people are equally misinformed and uninformed while things are just as secretive as they are in Japan.  

Insight from a Maryland Navy Base

The fire training area at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, about 100 km south of Washington, reported 87,847 parts per trillion of three PFAS compounds in the groundwater near the fire station. The total would be a lot higher if they provided us with a longer list of compounds and their results.

The contamination at the Maryland base is dwarfed by other Navy bases. For instance, Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in California reported 8,000,000 ppt of PFOS/PFOA in its groundwater.

This is the kind of data the Japanese don’t have because U.S. Forces Japan keeps the information secret.

The Japanese public is also largely unaware of the levels of other contaminants in the groundwater caused by a host of military activities.

This list of toxins in groundwater at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Maryland, where I live ought to provide the Japanese public with an idea of what they may be dealing with.   

The Japanese surrender on board the U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945 occurred 78 years ago. Shouldn’t U.S. forces begin bearing some responsibility for contaminating the environment and threatening human life in Japan today?”…