PNC :: Japan Fact-Finding Delegation Arrives Tonight
Wednesday, 10 February 2010
Guam - A twenty three member fact finding delegation from Japan will begin arriving this evening.
According to the Japan Consulate Office the members will arrive on seperate flights with the Head of the Delegation Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yorihisa Matsuno arriving near Midnight. Also on the delegation are National Diet or Japan Legislative members Mikio Shimoji, Tomuko Abe, and Daisuke Nagayama. While here they will tour Naval Station NCTAMs and Andersen Airforce Base.
The group was sent on this fact finding mission by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama in order to see if Guam will be suitable as a potential site for the relocation of the Futenma marine air base. This base has been the center of much contention between the U.S. and Japan and has been described by U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates as the "Lynchpin" in the Defense Realignment Agreement between the U.S. and Japan. This agreement will send 8,000 marines and 9,000 of their dependents from Okinawa to Guam. The deal also includes relocating the Futenma base to northern Okinawa. Okinawans have protested this move citing the damage it will cause to the habitat of the endangered Dugong (a marine mammal related to the sea manatee). Japan officials have previously cited Guam as a potential alternative for Futenma's relocation.
The Japan Consulate has confirmed that the Japan delegation will be touring military bases tommorrow. They are scheduled to see Naval Station, NCTAMS, and Andersen Airforce base. They will be Meeting with military officals and the Governor, however they will not be available to meet with local media.
Written by : Clynt Ridgell