Fire at the Hazmat facility at U.S. Air Base in Okinawa

TOKYO  A fire broke out Monday in a storage building for hazardous materials at a major U.S. airport in Japan's southern island of Okinawa.

According to a statement from the UAE Air Force, the blast in the center of the Kadena airfield began Monday morning and was ignited a few hours later, but it was included in the perimeter of the base.

Footage on Japanese television showed thick layers of smoke from the building known as the 18th Wing Hazardous Materials Pharmacy. Since firefighters were able to control the fire, the area was moved around and crews were evacuated safely. No injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is not known in the statement. Kadena is the largest US airport in the Far East.

More than 50,000 U.S. troops from Japan are in Okinawa under the bilateral security agreement. Many residents in Okinawa have long complained about environmental hazards, noise and settlement crimes.

Environmental impacts on U.S. bases are a major concern on Okinawa. In April, more than 140 tons of firearms were believed to contain cancerous substances from Marine Air Station Futenma, which was in the midst of a transfer dispute. The Ministry of Defense said last month there was no major problem with its water sample results.

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