Hawaii governor ready to accept U.S. forces from Japan
David Ige, the Okinawa descendent governor of Hawaii, had an exclusive interview Tuesday with Kyodo News in the Hawaii state government offices.
In the interview, Ige stated that he would accept the U.S. military troops move to Hawaii on condition the U.S. government provides funds for necessary infrastructure investments, in the case that the president-elect Donald J. Trump decides to withdraw the U.S. military forces from Japan.
The possibility of such withdrawal rose during the U.S. presidential election campaign when Trump suggested that Japan does not pay enough for the stationing of U.S. troops on cases here, and that he might withdraw the troops if Japan refused to pay more.
According to the present realignment plans of U.S. forces stationed in Japan, about 2,700 U.S. Marines in Okinawa are to be transferred to Hawaii. Ige said that his administration is proceeding with preparations for the Marines to locate at Marine Corps Station Kaneohe Bay.
Ige said that more discussions between the U.S. and Japanese governments would be needed regarding the cost burden of U.S. forces staying in Japan, and added, “Strengthening the bonds between U.S. and Japan would be important for the peace in the Pacific Ocean area. President Trump would understand what would be profitable not only for Japan but also for U.S., if he learned more about the situation in this area.” Ige pointed out the validity of defraying the cost on the U.S. side.