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US Military Base in Japan Rocked by Explosion

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Published on: August 24, 2015

Just a couple of weeks ago, an explosion rocked Tianjin, China. On Sunday, Reuters reported that an explosion rocked a warehouse at a US military base in Japan.

Reuters reported:

An explosion rocked a warehouse at a U.S. military base in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, about 40 km southwest of Tokyo, but there were no reports of injuries, fire officials said on Monday.

The local fire department said it received a call just after midnight of an explosion at the warehouse, where it said “dangerous material” is stored.

It dispatched firefighters, and said later the blaze had subsided with little danger of it spreading since there were no adjacent buildings. The cause of the fire was not immediately known but metal oxygen tanks in the warehouse may have exploded, firefighters said.

Defense Minister Gen Nakatani said Monday the incident was regrettable as it would cause great fear among the local residents.

“The Defense Ministry expressed its regret to the United States,” Nakatani said. “We asked them to provide further information, investigate the cause and take preventive steps.”

Japanese police claim that they do not have jurisdiction to investigate because it happened on a US military base. Therefore, the Defense Department will be the ones to investigate.

One local said that though he knew the base was used for the storage of materials, it was this explosion that made him “start thinking in a totally different way.”

The US Army issued a statement, which read, The Army appreciates the quick reaction and support of our partners from the Sagamihara City emergency services.”

Though no troops lived at the depot, it is a workplace for an estimated 200 personnel, according to The Guardian. It is home to the 35th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, concerned with army supply and logistics including the management of chemicals and ammunition.

According to the Army, the materials were not hazardous and there was no ammunition or radiological materials stored there.

The 35th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion assisted in aid efforts following the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

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