Stores of poison gas weapons, stockpiled by the United States Army on the Pacific Island of Okinawa, are currently being shipped out of the country.
Stores of poison gas weapons, stockpiled by the United States Army on the Pacific Island of Okinawa, are currently being shipped out of the country. Defying left-wing threats to stop the shipments by force, two convoys of lorries carried poison gas shells through central Okinawa yesterday (Wednesday). Several villages along the route had been evacuated by frightened residents.
In this first shipment, 150 tons of gas shells were transported down to the east coast port of Tengan. There, the shells were loaded on a U.S. Army transport ship, which is sailing for the American-held Johnston Island, 750 miles southwest of Hawaii.
By the time Okinawa is handed back to Japan next year, some 13,000 tons of chemical weapons -- mostly nerve gas -- will have been moved to Johnston Island. Special storage facilities are being built there.
The weapons have been stored at American bases in Okinawa for the past ten years, but their existence was only revealed last year during a scare that there had been a leak of nerve gas.
Following Okinawa and Japanese protests, it was ordered that the gas should be removed as soon as possible. The initial shipment of gas had to be postponed in the face of protests by people living along the route to be taken by the convoys.