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New American communications facility stirs health worries

Date Posted: 2004-03-11

The U.S. military’s new telecommunications facility at Camp Hansen has local governments worried about their residents’ safety.

The facility, known as the Elephant Cage, was relocated from the Sobe area to Camp Hansen, and will be come operational soon. The relocation was opposed by Kin area residents.

The Japanese Self Defense Agency is charged with insuring the new American facility is safe, and conducted tests from January 28 ~ February 12th. They report there’s nothing dangerous to human health, but say they’ll test one more time before the facility begins operating.

According the Self Defense Agency, there’s nothing to be concerned about. Residents disagree, asking that electromagnetic waves and radioactive waves be checked. Electromagnetic waves can interfere with cellular phone communications, and sometimes computers too.

The Self Defense Agency says it is not going to check electromagnetic waves, because they aren’t a problem. Onna Village Mayor Fumiyasu Shikiya and other area bosses don’t agree, and are asking for the health checks. “We want to know how the waves can affect humans,” Shikiya says, “because we are worried about health.”

It appears the sparring will be between the Japanese Self Defense Agency and the area residents, and not with the American military. Given the responses from Agency officials, there doesn’t seem there will be any easy solutions to the disagreements.

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