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Shimoji seeks U.S. aid on Guam troop move

Date Posted: 2007-09-13

Mikio Shimoji is soliciting American financial assistance to get the process of moving US Marines from Okinawa to Guam.

The independent politician, Okinawa’s delegate in the House of Representatives, is visiting America this week, meeting with the Institute of Strategic Planning for International Conflicts to appeal for US involvement in funding the troops move to Guam. Shimoji didn’t get the answers he wanted, though, as Director Cart Campbell explained Iraq is taking precedence in American thinking and financial commitments.

“America still has things to do with the Iraq situation first,” Campbell said, “but Futenma is next.” Shimoji was asking for U.S. investment for infrastructure in Guam, where 8,000 U.S. Marines are supposed to move by 2014. The issue is complicated by hang-ups in getting a replacement airfield built in northern Okinawa. Without the airfield built at Camp Schwab, the move won’t happen, Shimoji told Campbell.

Campbell explained to Shimoji American interests will not invest in Guam, at this point, especially in infrastructure. “It is a problem of Japan’s Self Defense Agency leaking information,” he said, “and America is worrying about credibility.” He reminded Shimoji the U.S. is asking Japan to invest in the Guam move through its JBIC bank.

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