U.S., Japan agree to relocation of military warehouses

The U.S. and Japanese government negotiators have reached an agreement to relocate U.S. Air Force warehouses from Camp Kinser to Kadena Ammunition Depot area, according to Japanese government officials.

The new location for the Marine warehouses in the Kinser area are still under negotiations, the sources said.

The Okinawa prefectural government wants the Camp Kinser area returned within seven years, and the U.S. side has agreed to the request in principle and on condition that the functions of the Kinser service area can be transferred to another location within Okinawa.

An agreement on partial return of Camp Kinser was agreed on in 2013 when Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Age and the U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos jointly announced an agreement to return six U.S. facilities, including the Makiminato Service Area on Camp Kinser. The announcement stated that a part of Kinser would be returned as early as within fiscal 2013 but that has not happened as alternative sites for the have not been secured elsewhere on U.S. bases on Okinawa.

The agreement to relocate the Air Force warehouses is seen as a significant step forward towards the eventual return of Kinser.