Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Guam refuses to accept any more US Marines

Guam refuses to accept any more US Marines

2010/02/11 22:10(JST)

The governor of Guam is ruling out the possibility of relocating the US Futenma air station in Okinawa to the island. Japan's ruling coalition is searching for an alternative site for the US base, possibly outside congested Okinawa Island.

Governor Felix Camacho met members of a Japanese government panel dealing with the relocation issue on Thursday. They include Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yorihisa Matsuno and junior coalition Social Democratic Party's policy council chief, Tomoko Abe.

The group outlined their studies on the issue, and explained that the Social Democratic Party has named Guam as a candidate site for the relocation of the Marine Corps air station.

In response, Camacho said the island cannot accept more US troops than is currently planned.

He said the majority of Guam residents are ready to accept eight-thousand US marines from Okinawa in line with an agreement made between the United States and Japan. But beyond that, he said the development of the island's social infrastructure would not be able to keep up with a sharp rise in population.

The government panel members also visited Andersen Air Force Base, where a Marine Corps helicopter unit in Okinawa is to be transferred.

Abe later told reporters that there is still a chance that the relocation may take place if Guam's concerns about infrastructure can be addressed. She added her party will continue to propose Guam as a candidate site.

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