Japan wants US Marines to move to Guam

Japan wants US Marines to move to Guam
# 28 July 2010 22:30 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. Japan’s government said Wednesday it had no plan to delay transferring some 8,000 US marines based on the southern island of Okinawa to the US Pacific territory of Guam by 2014, APA reports quoting news.yahoo.com website.
In Washington on Tuesday, Jackalyne Pfannenstiel, an assistant US secretary of the Navy, told Congress that the lack of infrastructure in Guam could cause delays.
But Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku told a news conference: "I have not confirmed that debate. We think we want to go ahead firmly as promised."
According to Saturday’s Daily Yomiuri, the US Navy told the Guam government last week that the island’s infrastructure could not handle a fast enough construction schedule to allow for the Marines to transfer there by 2014.
The US government has effectively given up on its target of completing the transfer in 2014 and also informed Tokyo of the delay, the daily said without giving a source.
The transfer plan, also involving the relocation of some 9,000 military family members, is part of a 2006 agreement between Tokyo and Washington aimed at reducing the heavy US military presence on Okinawa.
Another part of the deal involves the relocation of a US marines airbase from a fast-growing urban area to a less developed coastal part of Okinawa.
The base issue has angered islanders as the centre-left Democratic Party of Japan pledged to move it outside Okinawa when it came to power last year, but later reneged on the promise.