Marine Corps Commandant says transfer to Guam on track
Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, Gen. Joseph Dunford has denied linking the move of Marines from Okinawa to Guam and the construction of he replacement facility for MCAS Futenma in Henoko.
In a testimony before the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee last week, a lawmaker from Guam asked Dunford to clarify his previous comments at a Senate Armed Services Committee, Dunford had remarked that the transfer of the Marines could be affected if the relocation plan was delayed because of the Okinawan local opposition.
In his reply to the lawmaker, Dunford flatly denied linking the plans. “I did not link them,” he said.
Instead he said that the plans to transfer the Marines are “proceeding apace.” The transfer is planned to take place in 2021-2022.
But he also hedged his statement saying that whether the transfer will go as planned depends on relevant budgets. “I find it hard to imagine that we’d be able to sustain the plan if the budgets are reduced,” he said according to a report by Japan’s Jiji Press.