U.S. Senate cuts budget for moving Marines from Okinawa to Guam by 70%
Nov 6 02:11 PM US/Eastern
WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 (Kyodo) - (AP) - The U.S. Senate has cut spending earmarked in a fiscal 2010 budget bill for the relocation of 8,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam by 70 percent, congressional sources said Friday.
The sharp cut from about $300 million earmarked for the transfer of the Marines comes at a time when the new Japanese government led by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has been unable to reach a conclusion on the issue of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps' Futemma Air Station.
The transfer of the Marines to Guam is closely linked with the relocation of the Futemma base.
In May 2006, Japan and the United States agreed to move the heliport functions of the Futemma Air Station located in downtown Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, to a less densely populated area in Nago, northern Okinawa, by 2014. The two countries also agreed at the time on the transfer of 8,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam.
The United States has been pressing Japan to implement the relocation of the Futemma base as agreed in 2006, but Hatoyama is seeking to move the airfield out of Okinawa or even out of Japan.