Okinawa 1988-1991

Okinawa 1988-1991

Friday, December 22, 2006

Woman in Okinawa stung by scorpion while trying on jeans

NAGO, Okinawa -- A woman was hospitalized after a scorpion stung her on the leg and finger while she was trying on a pair of jeans at a clothing shop here, local officials said.

Health officials were called to the shop, Fashion Center Shimamura in Nago, and captured the scorpion, which was about five centimeters long. They believe that the scorpion is from China, as the jeans involved were imported from there.

The scorpion found inside the jeans was probably a Chinese bark scorpion. Researchers at the Okinawa Prefecture Institute of Health and Environment said that Chinese bark scorpions have poison in the tip of their tails, but it is not lethal.

The woman came to the store in Nago on Oct. 26, and tried on a pair of jeans. She suddenly felt pain in her right knee and rubbed it with her right hand. The scorpion then stung her right index finger, officials said.

Store clerks called an ambulance and she was taken to hospital, where she stayed for five days.

Employees at the store said that the jeans were from China and were shipped via Tokyo on Oct. 24. The jeans were displayed at the shop on Oct. 26. They added that during the process of drying and pressing jeans, workers use chlorine agents so they don't believe the scorpion crawled inside the jeans at that stage. "We will investigate how it crawled inside the jeans and try to prevent a recurrence," one employee at the store said.

Two types of scorpions inhabit the Yaeyama Islands and the Miyako Islands in Okinawa Prefecture and the Ogasawara Islands in Tokyo. But scorpions don't live in any other areas of mainland Japan and on Okinawa Island.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Toys for Tots campaign underway on Okinawa

The 2006 U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots campaign on Okinawa began with a ceremony Nov. 18 at the Post Exchange on Camp Foster.

Each year, Marines on Okinawa contribute their time during the months of November and December to collect new, unwrapped toys and charitable donations for children in need during Christmas.

"This is a great opportunity for us to show one of the best things about America - our generosity," said Col. Russell I. Jones, the commanding officer for Headquarters and Service Battalion Marine Corps Base Camp Butler, during the kick-off ceremony. "To quote an unknown author, 'no man stands taller than when he helps a needy child.'"

The toys collected here on Okinawa will be given to children in the local Japanese and military communities this holiday season, according to Staff Sgt. Jon E. Loppe, an Individual Ready Reserve military policeman with III Marine Expeditionary Force.

"Volunteering for the program helps build good relations between the local and military communities on Okinawa," said Loppe.

Toys for Tots organizers on Okinawa collected nearly 9,000 toys last year, Loppe said. This year they want to shatter that record by collecting more than 10,000 toys.

"Toys for Tots is an organization that gives every boy and girl a chance to have a normal Christmas," Loppe said. "It gives them the opportunity to believe there is hope."

Military families who would like to request assistance from Toys for Tots this Christmas can contact their unit representative, Loppe said. Marines can also nominate other families who need assistance but would not be likely to ask for it on their own.

Organizations or individuals interested in participating in the Toys for Tots campaign should contact Loppe by email at or phone 645-8066.