Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Japan, US begin talks on environmental pact

Japan and the United States have begun talks on a new agreement that would allow Japan to make on-site inspections of US military bases in Japan when environmental problems occur.

Representatives of Japan's Foreign Ministry and the US Defense Department met near Washington on Tuesday.

Both sides negotiated proposed procedures for such inspections and the possibility of Japan sharing of financial burden when the US military implements environmental measures inside its base facilities.

The meeting was one part of efforts to reduce the burden on communities hosting US bases, many of which are in Okinawa Prefecture.

The move comes after revelations of soil pollution and other environmental problems inside current US bases and land where bases where previously located.

The Okinawa Prefectural government has requested permission for Japanese authorities to conduct on-site inspections.