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Toxic containers wash ashore along Okinawan east coast

Date Posted: 2008-02-28

Thirteen plastic containers containing toxic chemicals have been found along the coastline at Uruma City’s Henza Islands and Kunigami Village.
The 11th Maritime Safety Agency says the 13 containers labeled with Korean writing are only part of 23,000 similar plastic containers found in recent weeks across Japan’s coastlines. They’ve issued warnings to people who find the containers not to open them because they’re dangerous.
Uruma City officials say the plastic bottles are labeled “Peroxides”, a dangerous liquid chemical. In Kunigami Village, where six were found, one man opened a bottle and breathed the strong chemical odor, then watched the liquid change to a vapor.
The Ministry of the Environment says they don’t know yet where the plastic containers originated, but confirmed they all have Korean writing on them. The Ministry says containers have been picked up from Akita on Japan’s north side, down to Okinawa. A Ministry official says many of the bottles contain nitric acid and acetate.

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