The US army conducted experiments of biological weapons on the Japanese island of Okinawa in the early 1960s, a report says.
The United States carried out over a dozen field experiments of biological weapons on the Japanese island between 1961 and 1962, Kyodo news agency reported Sunday, citing US military documents.
The obtained documents mention that Washington released rice-blast fungus over paddy-fields and data was collected on how it affected rice production.
The fungus is known to occur in 85 countries and estimated to destroy enough rice to feed 60 million people each year.
The United States is “believed to have had China and Southeast Asia in mind in developing such crop-harming agents,” the report stated.
The same experiments were also conducted in Taiwan and on the US mainland, the agency said.
Okinawa had been under US rule until 1972 following World War II. The United States currently operates a military base on the island.
Okinawa has been a reluctant host to the bulk of US military forces in Japan. About half of the 50,000 American military personnel in Japan are stationed on the island.
The governor of Okinawa approved a controversial plan last month to relocate a US air base to a less populous part of the southern island, but said he would keep pressing to move the base off the island altogether.