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Japan may shoulder more of Guam move

Date Posted: 2010-08-09

Saying his government hasn’t heard anything from the United States about delays to the 2014 target date for moving 8,000 U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam, the Chief Cabinet Secretary says Japan is considering increasing the amount of money it is contributing to the relocation process.

Yoshito Sengoku stressed at a news conference that the move must be made on schedule, noting “Japan and the U.S. must strenuously engage on financial, technical and a range of other matters.” Sengoku was reacting to a request made in mid-June by the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, that Japan pick up additional costs for the Marines’ move. “We hope to do this through mutual cooperation as promised,” Sengoku said, “and there has been no notification from the United States that it has given up on the 2014 transfer or stopped it.”

Japan earlier agreed to shoulder $6.09 billion of the estimated $10.27 billion relocation cost, but new figures developed by the U.S. government indicate that costs for developing infrastructure—facilities for electricity, water and sewage—were going to be higher than expected. The Assistant Secretary of the Navy in charge of Energy, Installations and Environment, Jackalyne Pfannensteil, testified before a Defense Department panel that “recognizes that Guam has existing infrastructure deficiencies that could affect the ability of DoD to execute the program on an aggressive construction schedule.”

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