US military announces two new coronavirus infections in Japan

A passenger wears a mask to guard against the coronavirus while waiting for a train to depart Fussa Station near Yokota Air Base, Japan, Oct. 22, 2020.


By STARS AND STRIPES Published: October 23, 2020

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TOKYO — The U.S. Navy in Japan reported a pair of new coronavirus cases Friday.

Two recent arrivals to Yokosuka Naval Base, south of Tokyo, from outside Japan tested positive while in isolation, according to a post on the installation’s Facebook page. They tested positive sometime since Monday, according to the post.

The base has five active cases, the post said.

Also Friday, Yokosuka expanded the permitted off-duty travel area to include Nara, Wakayama, Aichi, Gunma, Mie and Yamagata prefectures, and now permit visits to public beaches, according to the Facebook post.

At Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo, the principal at the base high school in a letter to students and families Friday said the school had been thoroughly cleaned and safe for classes on Monday. Someone at the school tested positive for the coronavirus, Principal Marian Leverette wrote Thursday in a similar letter.

Neither the school nor the base specified whether the patient was a student or staff member. First Lt. Stuart Thrift, a spokesman for the 374th Airlift Wing at Yokota, said the wing would not say how many people have been quarantined as a result of coronavirus safety requirements.

In the wake of an uptick in new coronavirus cases on two islands popular with tourists near Okinawa, two more U.S. commands on Friday restricted travel there.

Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni declared Okinawa and nearby islands, including Miyako and Ishigaka, off limits, along with several other metro areas in Japan. The III Marine Expeditionary Force also put the two islands off-limits.

“Okinawa is still experiencing the highest per capita rate of new COVID-19 infections in Japan,” said a III MEF post on Facebook, referring to the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.

The U.S. Navy garrison on Okinawa declared the islands off-limits Thursday following a spike in new cases there.