18:01 GMT15 August 2020
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    Two US marine bases on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa, Marine Corps Air Station Futenma and Camp Hansen, were put on lockdown on Saturday in light of new COVID-10 clusters.

    The United States and Japan are sharing information about individuals infected with the novel coronavirus at three US marine bases in Okinawa, a Japanese government spokesman said on Monday morning.

    In total, 62 new cases have been confirmed on three US bases over the period from 7 to 12 July: 39 people have been infected at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, 22 - in Camp Hansen, and one person has contracted coronavirus in Camp Kinser, according to Okinawa Prefecture.

    On Friday, the US military command reimposed restrictions on movement for servicemen and staffers of US bases in Japan due to an increased incidence of COVID-19. As such, the use of public transport, as well as visits to restaurants and cafes, have been banned. To date, four US bases in Japan have reported COVID-19 cases.

    The Ryukyu Shimpo newspaper suggested that the recent spike in cases began to emerge in June or early July, after local residents and some US military personnel started gathering in big groups for outdoor activities, including picnics.

    According to Okinawa's COVID-19 information website, the city has reported 148 positive cases of coronavirus and seven fatalities.

    Tags:
    diplomat, Japan, pandemic, United States
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