Japan, US Agree On Base-related Environment Pact

Last update: 21/10/2014

TOKYO, Oct 21 (Bernama) -- The Japanese and US governments have agreed to conclude a pact that allows environmental surveys in US base sites in Japan, Japan's Jiji Press news agency reported.

The pact gives Japanese municipalities hosting US bases the right to conduct surveys in the bases such as research on cultural property and soil contamination.

The Japanese government hopes the pact will see the Japan-US status-of-forces agreement approved at the next ordinary parliamentary session due to start in January next year.

The pact is designed to help US base-hosting municipalities to utilise returned land smoothly.

The southernmost prefecture of Okinawa hosts most of the US bases in the country.

On Monday, the Japanese government held a meeting in Tokyo on measures to reduce Okinawa's burden of hosting the US Marine Corps' Futenma air base.

As the bilateral status-of-forces agreement has no provision for the environment, relevant municipalities have so far conducted environment surveys by seeking approval from US forces.

The new pact also calls for Japan's financial assistance for eco-friendly projects by the US forces including the installation of solar power panels.