Monday, April 21, 2014

Joint Statement on Guam Buildup Disappoints, No Numbers Confirmed, Only De-linkage from Futenma Relocation

Guam News - Guam News

Guam - The Joint Statement from the U.S. and Japan on the ongoing efforts to revise the 2006 Roadmap for Realignment does not officially confirm the number of Marines that would be transferred to Guam, as many island leaders had hoped.

According to an AP report from Tokyo where the statement was released Wednesday evening, the Joint Statement merely confirms that "negotiators have begun formal consultations to separate the Futenma relocation from the transfer of marines to Guam as well as the return of six military facilities and land occupied by the U.S. military south of the U.S. Air Force's Kadena base in Okinawa."

Delinking the movement of Marines to Guam from progress on the long stalled effort to relocate the Marine's Futenma Air Station within Okinawa, was  first reported by Bloomberg last Friday, quoting un-named government sources.

READ the AP report on the Joint Statement

This morning, [Wednesday] Governor Calvo and his Chief Policy Advisor Arthur Clark received a call from Navy Under Secretary Robert Work who advised them that the Joint Statement would be coming out later today.

Clark told PNC News that he was left with the impression that the statement would provide some confirmation of the many media reports over the past week quoting un-named sources that only 4,700 Marines would be coming to Guam, a reduction from the 8,600 previously slatted to be stationed here.

However the AP report calls the statement "vague on specifics of what lies ahead"  and it quotes Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba as saying “We decided to choose to reduce Okinawa’s burden as much as possible rather than being stuck in a stalemate by sticking to an earlier package. We believe the agreement is a major progress toward a deeper Japan-U.S. alliance.”

According to the report, the details  "will be determined through further discussions over the next few months."

The AP report suggests that the statement "does not refer to the specifics of the proposal, possibly in light of growing concern in Okinawa that the advance transfer of marines would lead to the continuance of the Futenma base in its present form and local opposition to the additional deployment of marines to Iwakuni."

 

 

 

Negotiators have begun formal consultations to separate the Futenma relocation from the transfer of marines to Guam as well as the return of six military facilities and land occupied by the U.S. military south of the U.S. Air Force's Kadena base in Okinawa,
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