Saturday, January 30, 2010

Guthertz wants to be part of Japan/US talks

Guthertz wants to be part of Japan/US talks

Posted: Jan 26, 2010 6:34 PM
Updated: Jan 28, 2010 3:33 PM

by Nick Delgado

Guam - Committee Chair on the Military Buildup senator Judith Guthertz says she wants Guam to be part of the discussions between Japan and the United States when it comes to planning the Marine relocation from Okinawa to Guam.

Guthertz says she will offer an alternative to the U.S. government on Wednesday in response to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement calling it, "Stretching and Spreading the Buildup," over a more manageable and acceptable timeframe. In her statement, Senator Guthertz cites a prior commitment from then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney pledging that the Pentagon would conduct prior consultations with the Government of Guam regarding any desired change in the military footprint in Guam.

Guthertz believes the Pentagon is breaking that solemn promise, as she states no discussions were held with the GovGuam prior to the determination of the relocation of Marines, and Guam had no input on the size or speed of the buildup. "We have never been told who and what determined that the relocation would be for 8,652 Marines, and this is wrong! The people of Guam must be heard, there must be collaboration in this process with our island community."

Guthertz says the buildup is for too many too soon, "If either our federal government or the government of Japan does not fund our local needs, we will end up in the disastrous situation of having two Guam's: a first-world Guam inside the military fences, and third-world Guam outside the fences."

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