Election Results: Passed
Whereas, American military operations in Okinawa have been contaminating the water and people of Okinawa with PFAS (polyfluoroalkyl substances), dubbed “forever chemicals” for their long-lasting toxicity;
Whereas, high concentrations of PFAS have been detected around numerous Okinawan military facilities that migrate to local waterways ultimately devastating an island's source of life — its aquifer;
Whereas, in 2016, Okinawa authorities announced PFAS presence in water supplying 450,000 locals;
Whereas, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention National Health Survey published by research physicians in June 2022 concluded exposure to PFAS severely increases mortality from various diseases;
Whereas, PFAS concentrations in testing conducted by an Okinawan citizens' group were revealed to be 14 times higher than national average.
Whereas, the water (miji} sources - springs and wells - at which Okinawans customarily pray are now also PFAS -polluted;
Whereas, while the only way to determine the source(s) of the pollution is for Okinawa Prefectural authorities is to send a team of experts into the bases to test the water and the soil, base authorities have so far refused entry to any such team;
Therefore, Be it Resolved, that we demand that US Armed Forces in Okinawa show respect for the lives of Okinawans by allowing on-base water and soil testing by the Prefecture’s health officials;
We further demand that the US Environmental Protection Agency categorize PFAS as “hazardous” so contaminated sites can be classified and remediated as Federal “superfund” sites. And we further demand that the US Congress designate funding from within the Defense Budget for mitigation, decontamination and restoration of PFAS contamination within the Ryukyu Islands in the current fiscal year 2024, including compensation for costs borne by Okinawan people and local government.
Masafumi Teruya, VFP-ROCK Associate Member; Ginowan Churamizu-Kai, and Okinawa “Protecting Residents’ Lives from PFAS Pollutants Liaison Association” representative
VFP-ROCK (Ryukyu/Okinawa Chapter Kokusai [chapter 1003])