Media Silent on Explosion at Camp Foster United States Marine Corps Base
OKINAWA CITY, JAPAN – March 25, 2019
An explosion occurred this morning at Camp Foster United States Marine Corps base, reports Japanese TV-channel NHK reported on it.
According to information provided by local police, an unknown person penetrated the base’s security and blew up a gas cylinder on the second floor near the door of the Office of the Okinawan mission of the Japanese Ministry of Defense. Thankfully, no one died in the explosion.
The American media, however, is largely silent about this. Google brings up reports on similar explosions in 2005 and 2009. German media, however, has picked up the story.
Camp Foster is a United States Marine Corps camp located in Ginowan City. Some of its portions overlap with Okinawa City, the town of Chatan, and the village of Kitanakagusuku in the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa Island. It houses the headquarters of Marine Corps Base Butler, Marine Corps Installations Pacific, and the Okinawa Area Field Office of United States Forces Japan. It was named after the Medal of Honor recipient PFC William A. Foster.
Among its amenities are a large exchange with an adjacent food court. There is a smaller exchange “PX” next to the large exchange, which has a nail salon, barber shop, Softbank, AU, and a Toyland. Near the commissary is a bowling alley, skate park, performing arts center, and movie theater. The base operates three schools: Zukeran and Killin elementary schools and Kubasaki High School. The base's housing units include Kishaba, Chatan, Futenma, Plaza and Sada.
Okinawans have protested against the deployment of the U.S. Military base in the island numerous times. One of the most resonant protest actions was held in August when up to 70,000 inhabitants of Okinawa endured pouring rain and an approaching typhoon in the island's capital, Naha, to voice their opposition to the plan. The protesters in particular pointed out that the military bases activities were harmful for the island’s ecology and held a moment of silence to commemorate Takeshi Onaga, the former governor of Okinawa who died of cancer in 2014 and during his lifetime was an opponent of the American military presence.
Okinawans are also tired of the antics of American soldiers stationed there. For example, in November 2017, a U.S. Marine stationed in Okinawa, drunkenly crashed his truck into another vehicle, killing the driver, which resulted in mass protests against the American military presence. Similar accidents with drunken American soldiers also happened back in June 2016, which resulted in a full drinking ban for foreign military servants deployed in Okinawa, but as history showed, it didn’t help.
Perhaps it was drunkenness that prevented the soldiers from preventing the intruder from getting into Camp Foster. This could also be why the American media is silent about the explosion.