The measures come into force on January 10.

The United States has agreed to oblige its military personnel not to leave the territory of bases in Japan without official necessity due to the increase in the number of coronavirus infections. This is stated in a joint statement of the two countries, distributed on Sunday by the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

The measures come into force on January 10 and will last two weeks. “The U.S. Armed Forces in Japan will ensure that all personnel wear masks inside and outside military facilities, with the exception of personal homes. The U.S. Armed Forces in Japan will maintain strict personnel screening procedures before leaving (the U.S.) and after entering (Japan), and will strictly follow the requirements of a 14-day quarantine after entry,” the document says.

A sharp increase in coronavirus infections was detected at several U.S. bases, including Camp Hansen on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa, at the end of December. The infection was brought to the facilities by military personnel recently transferred to Japan as part of the rotation. They did not pass PCR tests on arrival within the framework of the existing bilateral agreements. However, this requirement is now in effect again.

Due to the surge in infections at U.S. military facilities, the daily increase in new cases of coronavirus among the population of Okinawa, as well as Yamaguchi Prefecture, where another Iwakuni base is located, has grown to record high levels for the entire time of the pandemic.

In total, more than 50 thousand American troops are stationed in Japan, including a marine division on the island of Okinawa.