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Tokyo antes up subsidies to cover damages from old bombs

Date Posted: 2009-05-14

Japanís central government is giving Okinawa •7.5 million to help cover damages from an explosion of an old World War II bomb in January that seriously injured a construction worker.

The money will be paid to companies and individuals who were impacted by the explosion. The money is part of an •80 million subsidy allocated to locate and eliminate other unexploded ordnance left over on Okinawa from World War IIís Battle of Okinawa. The central government wanted to pay only •2.5 million for the January explosion, citing only one injury and damages limited to 100 glass windows blown out. Okinawa officials argued the damage was more severe, and included agricultural damage and additional damage to a number of vehicles.

This is the second time Japan has made special payments to the Okinawa Unexploded Bomb Measure Safety Fund. The first was in 1974, when four people were killed in a bomb explosion.

Okinawa officials estimate there are more than 2,500 pieces of unexploded ordnance remaining from World War II buried in the earth across the island. The ordnance is usually discovered during construction projects.

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