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US-Japan Joint Statement on COVID-19

20-011 | July 29, 2020

Yokota Air Base, Japan —

The Government of Japan (GOJ) and United States Forces Japan (USFJ) have worked closely in our joint effort to combat COVID-19.  The GOJ and USFJ are seriously concerned by the global pandemic and challenges posed to the health of the Japanese community as well as the personnel of USFJ.  In recognition of the challenges posed by this pandemic, Lieutenant General Schneider, Commander of USFJ, has maintained the Public Health Emergency for USFJ since April.  USFJ has implemented comprehensive and rigorous health protection policies, which are consistent with measures taken by the GOJ to combat COVID-19 and to alleviate local concern.  Every time there are positive cases among USFJ personnel, both sides share necessary information between the respective health authorities and notify the local governments concerned.  Both sides will continue to work together to ensure that such exchange of information will be done as expeditiously as possible.

The GOJ and USFJ agree that strict enforcement of the measures that USFJ is taking, including the following, is critically important in the joint effort to combat COVID-19.

  • All inbound USFJ personnel arriving on or after July 24 will continue to undergo mandatory 14-day Restriction of Movement (ROM) and also undergo PCR testing prior to release from ROM.
  • The Health Protection Condition Level (HPCON) throughout Japan remains elevated at Bravo, and the Commander of USFJ has also extended the Public Health Emergency through the middle of August.  In addition, all installations in Okinawa have elevated their local HPCON to C+, which means significant additional restrictions are in place due to the recent outbreaks.  USFJ has also conducted thorough and extensive contact tracing and PCR testing when there is a positive case to prevent further spread of the virus.
  • USFJ has also implemented a new policy for public information, which includes sharing the number of active cases of COVID-19 at US facilities.  Each affected installation will issue a press release announcing any new cases, while USFJ maintains a nation-wide list of active cases per installation to be updated twice weekly on its website.  This policy is an effort to balance operational security with transparency.
  • Since the beginning of this outbreak, USFJ has shared information about positive cases with the relevant local health authorities in accordance with bilateral agreements. As the pandemic spreads, our bilateral information sharing processes continue to be refined as we work together to share necessary information as expeditiously as possible.

The GOJ and USFJ reaffirm their commitment to ensure day-to-day close coordination, including with the local governments concerned, and between the respective health authorities, and to take the necessary actions to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in Japan.