Thursday, January 07, 2010

US-Japan row won’t affect Guam pact

US-Japan row won’t affect Guam pact

Friday, 08 January 2010 00:38
by Zita Y. Taitano | Variety News Staff

JOINT Guam Program Office executive director General David Bice doesn’t believe the souring relationship between the U.S. and Japan will affect the Marines move to the island.

“I deal with my counterparts in Japan, bureaucrats as they are. I watch what Japan does and they’ve already deposited over $330 million in the U.S. bank account for the move,” Bice said.

He noted nearly $500 million detailed in Tokyo’s next fiscal year budget allocated to carry out task associated with lessening the burden on Okinawa by relocating the Futenma Air Base to a less populated area of the island and moving service personnel to Guam.

“I’m confident that we’ll be able to continue this program and work out any issues that relates to the Futenma replacement facility,” Bice said, expressing confidence that the new Japanese government’s decision would not cause any delay to the military’s timeline to complete the troop transfer by 2014.

“I don’t see it. I think the United States government and Japan officials are working (together) and I’m confident based on what I see, and my counterparts, that we’re going to be continuing to move forward,” he said.

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