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Guam wants close ties with Okinawa

Date Posted: 2006-05-27

Guam’s vice governor thinks Okinawa can assist in the transformation process of moving Marines from here to there.

Kaleo S. Moylan has been visiting Okinawa and mainland Japan to meet with mayors and national leaders on how to make a smooth transition for the Marines. He has inspected the American military bases here, and is looking for ideas on how to build Guam’s infrastructure to support them.

In a surprise statement, the Guam leader said his island can accept more than 8,000 Marines “with development of the infrastructure.” Meeting with Japan’s Defense Minister, Fukushiro Nukaga, Moylan reaffirmed “The U.S. Japan agreement must be aggressively pursued.”

“It is critical we establish mutual benefits for Okinawa and Guam,” he said, talking about how “on a short term basis, our water and sewage and electrical infrastructure must be improved”, while noting that in the long run, economic development must be pursued.

“Since the working force in Guam is not enough,” he noted, “we would like to have Okinawa’s cooperation.” Moylan wants direct air routes to Guam from Naha City, and wants a no-visa system established to permit Okinawans to work in Guam. “If these things happen,” Moylan added, “it would be possible to add more Marines to the Guam landscape.” He did express some reservations, though, about potential environmental problems linked to bringing the troops to Guam, and getting everyone settled in off-base housing.

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