Suspicious drum cans found on Okinawa city soccer field

15 drum cans were found buried underground in a soccer field in Okinawa City in the morning of June 13.

According to city officials, the drum cans seemed to have been pressed flat, and were empty, but smelled like oil. A wording on the cans read “The Dow Chemical Company,” which is one of the biggest chemical companies in the world. It is also the company that produced the notorious Agent Orange defoliant to the U.S. Military during the Vietnam War.

The Dow Chemical Co. was the world’s largest producer of Agent Orange, and the discovered drum cans may suggest that Agent Orange might have been present in Okinawa, a claim that the U.S. Military denies, saying that there are no records of the agent ever been brought on the island nor stored here.

Many former service members have been claiming over the years that their health problems are the result of having been exposed to Agent Orange while stationed on the island, and some have gone to courts to press their claims. Some even claim to have been present when drum cans of the agent were allegedly buried at certain sites on Okinawa or were loaded on ships.

The Board of Education of Okinawa City currently controls and manages the soccer field, and they say they will investigate and try to determine what the contents of the cans had been. A soil investigation around the area is also planned.

The site the cans were found was a part of the Kadena Air Base until it was returned to Okinawa Prefecture in 1987. The Okinawa Defense Bureau has sent an inquiry to the U.S. Military about the origin of the cans, and what they were used for, but they have not received an answer as of June 17th.

The drum cans that were dug up from the ground are covered with blue plastic sheets, and are now kept at the site. The site is also declared off limits.