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Philippines indicates interest in taking Okinawa-based Marines

Date Posted: 2004-09-24

The Philippines Secretary of Defense is saying his country could accommodate American troops now stationed on Okinawa.

In a meeting with former Okinawa legislator to the National Legislature, Mikio Shimoji, Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz says the Philippines could expand the scope of operations with American forces “if the US wants it.” Speaking in Manila, Shimoji and Cruz talked about how the increased troop training in the Philippines would enhance efforts in the war against terrorism. He noted there” is a necessity to share the burdens and benefits…..of the US military,” and added Asian nations should support the US by allowing the presence of American troops.

Shimoji, for his part, called on the Philippines to join “in reducing the burden on Okinawa. I want the Philippines to accept the USMC in Okinawa for training.”

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