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World IN BRIEF : JAPAN

U.S. Apologizes for Misfired Bullets

February 11, 1997|From Times Wire Reports

Stirring up new ill will with authorities in Okinawa, the U.S. military acknowledged with regret that its jets mistakenly fired 1,520 bullets containing depleted uranium during shooting practice near the island, then waited a year before notifying Japan. U.S. officials said the bullets posed no environmental or health threat. It wasn't clear why they waited until Jan. 16 to tell Japan about the gunfire at a firing range on an uninhabited coral island in late 1995 and early 1996. But the incident occurred at the height of tensions in Okinawa over the heavy U.S. military presence there and the rape of a schoolgirl involving three U.S. servicemen. Okinawa's governor was furious at the delay in notification.

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