Friday, August 31, 2012

#Agent Orange #Okinawa: Agent Orange #activist visits Okinawa, heads to #Vietnam

Her visit to Okinawa came less than a month after a U.S. government document surfaced seeming to show that the military stored or transported as many as 25,000 55-gallon barrels of the herbicide on bases in the prefecture. The U.S. government, however, has long denied such claims. Agent Orange may also have been sprayed on the Okinawa main island.

Bowser said that during her talk at Okinawa University she saw fear come into audience members' eyes as she spoke of her experiences.

"I watched them become more and more concerned as they put two and two together and realized that they may have been exposed. It was hard to see because I've walked that road; I've lived with that all my life."

Bowser has previously traveled to Vietnam, where she became the first dioxin-affected child of a U.S. Vietnam War veteran to meet with Vietnamese victims. On this current trip she and Japanese participants will visit Da Nang, where the U.S. government is spending $43 million (3.37 billion yen) to decontaminate two of 28 identified dioxin hotspots. Given the costs and official denials, it will likely be a long while before such a cleanup begins on Okinawa.

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