Sunday, November 09, 2008

Relocation to Guam Dominates U.S. Marines' 233rd Birthday

Written by Patti Arroyo, Pacific News Center - Guam, Saipan, CNMI, Asia-Pacific

On this, the 233rd birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps is news of the uncertainty over the fate of some 8-thousand marines planned to be moved out of Okinawa to Guam.

Guam--Admiral Timothy Keating, the senior U.S. Commander in the Pacific told the media last week that the move could take longer and be more expensive than originally thought and soon came media reports out of Tokyo that say the U.S. may ask Japan to foot more than the 60 percent of the cost they originally agreed upon.

Keating says the move will take place despite the constraints of funding.

A report by the Government Accountability Office suggested in May that the project could be pushed back, citing inadequate infrastructure in Guam and the growing fiscal burden on both governments. In September, it said costs could balloon beyond $15 billion.

Still the defense department says "the two governments of the United States and Japan have recommitted at the very highest levels — prime minister and president — to the eventual success of the agreement ”.

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