March 22, 2011
The U.S. military is considering the mandatory evacuation of thousands of American troops and their families in Japan out of concern over rising radiation levels, a senior defense official tells CNN.
The official, who did not want to be on the record talking about ongoing deliberations, says there are no discussions to evacuate all U.S. troops across the country. The talks have focused exclusively on U.S. troops in Yokosuka, just south of Tokyo, the official said. Yokosuka is home to America’s largest naval base in Japan. The military is monitoring radiation levels on a constant basis.
As of Monday, the U.S. Navy had no more warships in port at the base. The aircraft carrier USS George Washington, which had been undergoing maintenance in Yokosuka, left port Monday in order to get away from the plume of radioactive particles that could blow over the base. Because it left port with a much smaller than normal crew, the George Washington will not take part in the Japanese relief effort.