Japan Says Don't Expect A Deal On Okinawa-Guam Transfer During Obama's Tokyo Trip Later This Week
Written by Jeff Marchesseault, Guam News Factor Staff Writer
Sunday, 08 November 2009 17:50
GUAM - Less than a week before President Obama's scheduled visit to Tokyo, Japan's foreign minister is warning U.S. officials not to expect any answers on where Japan may allow the Marine Corps to relocate its air base within Okinawa.
According to GulfNews.com, Katsuya Okada says no deal can be expected during President Barack Obama's visit.
Guam's mostly-Marines buildup hinges on the timely and successful relocation of Futenma Air Station from crowded Ginowan to remote Nago, both of which are in Okinawa. Eight thousand U.S. Marines and their families would relocate to Guam as part of the troop realignment.
Guam's related military buildup is due to get underway in the summer/fall of 2010, but Japan's new government has yet to commit to a 2006 U.S.-Japan accord spelling out the details of the realignment. In fact, in the not-so-distant past, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has gone as far as opposing a U.S. air base anywhere in Okinawa.