US defense official: No change in Futenma plan
The US Undersecretary of Defense says the country does not intend to change the existing plan to relocate a US military air base in Okinawa, southern Japan.
Undersecretary Michele Flournoy made the remark in a speech in Washington on Tuesday. She took a central role in compiling the latest US Quadrennial Defense Review, released on Monday.
Flournoy said that in outlining the defense strategy, the US did review the planned realignment of its military in Japan.
She said they concluded that the plan agreed on by the former Japanese and US governments in 2006 is the one that should be implemented, and that the US is not going to change that.
Under the plan, the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station is to be relocated to a coastal area, also in Okinawa. The government of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama is reviewing that plan with an aim to reduce the burden on the people of Okinawa.
Flournoy added that she understands that the Japanese government is going through its own review process.
The US Quadrennial Defense Review said the country will continue to work with Japan so that the realignment of US forces in Japan will be implemented.