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Suspected unexploded ordnance found outside Tokyo harmless, Air Force says

By LEON COOK | STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 27, 2017

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — A U.S. military team investigating possible unexploded ordnance Wednesday at one of its bases in Japan determined the item was a harmless piece of metal, Air Force officials said.

“The item was not [unexploded ordnance] and did not contain any explosives. There was never a threat to any personnel on or near the site,” the service said in a statement issued Thursday.

The metal was found around 12:45 p.m. Wednesday at Tokorozawa Communication Site in Saitama prefecture.

Much of the land administered by Yokota is on the sites of older military bases, so unknown or suspicious objects are frequently found, the statement said.

“In the interest of public safety we treat all of those objects as if they present a danger to the surrounding areas until we can conclusively verify they are not a threat,” the statement said.

In a separate case of possible unexploded ordnance found at the site last month, the item turned out to be harmless construction material.

Tokorozawa, a small base where only seven military personnel and three Japanese nationals work, relays ground-to-air and ship-to-shore communications for U.S. Forces Japan.

The Japanese government agreed last year to clean up lead contamination at the base after soil testing performed ahead of road construction found 13,000 milligrams of lead per kilogram of soil – about 86 times the standard level – at the site.

cook.leon@stripes.com
Twitter: @LeonCook12

 

An Air Force technician works at the Tokorozawa Communication Site outside Tokyo, March 14, 2017.
DAVID OWSIANKA/U.S. AIR FORCE

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