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Safety issues linger at military housing in Japan, IG report says

By TYLER HLAVAC | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 25, 2017

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Safety issues remain at American military housing in Japan despite efforts over the past few years to correct them, an Office of Inspector General report said.

Base officials had by last year corrected 874 of the 1,057 deficiencies identified by a 2014 investigation into the problems, according to the report released earlier this month. However, there were still buildings without smoke alarms, non-functioning fire alarms, open fire doors, fire extinguishers not properly inspected, broken emergency exit signs and electrical outlets without circuit breakers to protect people from shocks. Service branches have the resources and personnel to correct all of the issues, it added.

The Inspector General followed up on 218 deficiencies in 91 buildings at Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Camp Zama, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Kadena Air Base and Camp Foster.

Since 2014, the Army had corrected 93 percent of its base-housing problems; the Navy had corrected 87 percent; the Air Force had corrected 70 percent; and the Marine Corps had corrected 69 percent, the report said.

The 2014 report found mold and elevated levels of radon — a naturally occurring gas associated with lung cancer — in on-base buildings throughout Japan, including one at Yokosuka that registered nearly six times higher than recommended limits for radon in 2014, the report said.

Defense Department officials plan to issue mold and radon guidance by next month, it added.

hlavac.tyler@stripes.com

The Office of Inspector General has followed up on 218 deficiencies in 91 military housing buildings in Japan, including at Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Camp Zama, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Kadena Air Base and Camp Foster.
DONALD HUDSON/U.S. AIR FORCE

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