PNC :: Japan Still Considering Moving Futenma to Guam; All Of It
Thursday, 4 February 2010
Guam - Japan may be sending a fact finding team to Guam by February 10th in preparation for it's announcement of potential alternate sites for the relocation of the Futenma marine air base.
According to reports from the stars and stripes Japan will be offering a list of alternative sites for Futenma by the end of March. Guam has been listed as one of the potential sites.
Read the Stars and Stripes Article
The marine air base on Futenma is home to four thousand marines. While Guam is already slated to receive over 8,000 active duty marines and 9,000 of their dependents Japan is considering moving the 4,000 on Futenma here as well.
Although the Japanese consulate office on Guam can't confirm this the stars and stripes is already reporting that Japan will send a fact finding team to Guam on February 10th. By the end of March Japan is slated to announce potential alternate sites for the relocation of Futenma.
Okinawans have protested U.S. plans to move Futenma to a rural part of Okinawa that is also home to the endangered Dugong.
Governor Felix Camacho says he hasn't heard word of the fact finding team however if they do send one the Governor says they really need to meet with them. If they are coming to determine whether or not Guam will be suitable for Futenma the governor says it won't.
According to Camacho he has already had a discussion with the secretary of defense of Japan in which he told him that moving 8,000 marines and their families to Guam is "more than enough." The Governor says that the US and Japan must be considerate of the livelihood of the people of Guam and the island's capacity to hold that many marines. He says that the U.S. Federal Government and Japan simply can't make decisions like these without considering how the host community feels about the impact it will have on it's citizens and their lives.
Speaker Judi Wonpat says if a fact finding team is coming from Japan she hasn't been informed however she says that a couple of weeks ago Diet members were supposed to come to the island but that trip was suddenly cancelled. If this group comes she would like to at least have an audience with them. She says she would inform them of the concerns that the local community has about the buildup. As for what she would say if asked about Guam's suitability for Futenma the Speaker says she would tell them it's not suitable.
The speaker says she would only consider the Futenma move if the military could accomplish it by staying within their current footprint in other words using the lands they already own on Guam.
Written by : Clynt Ridgell