Japan Asks U.S. to Prevent PFAS Leaks from Bases

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Defense Ministry

The Defense Ministry announced Friday that it has requested the U.S. side to prevent leaks of foam fire extinguishing material containing chemicals known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from U.S. military bases.

PFAS, which is feared to be carcinogenic, leaked at the U.S. Yokota Air Base in Tokyo from 2010 to 2012. The ministry also clarified that it first confirmed the leak in January 2019.

The Japan-U.S. agreement requires the U.S. side to report only when hazardous substances have leaked outside the base. The ministry has asked the U.S. side to promptly provide information even in the case of leaks inside the base in the future.