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Guam, Okinawa governors discuss relocation issues

Date Posted: 2009-07-02

Money, maintenance and infrastructure are issues confronting both the Guam and Okinawa governors, as they discovered at meetings during Felix P. Camacho’s visit to Okinawa.

Governor Hirokazu Nakaima met with the Guam governor to discuss issues surrounding the proposed transfer of 8,000 U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam by 2014. Camacho gave Okinawa’s governor an update on the transfer plans, including status of an environmental assessment of the military’s proposal due to be published soon. “I know citizens of Guam are welcoming the American military,” Camacho told Nakaima, “but we don’t have enough infrastructure and maintenance.” He says Guam is now “asking for support from President Obama.”

Guam has created 11 new committees to work through issues such as environment, housing, airport, seaport and other infrastructure necessary to bring the Marines to Guam. Camacho says Guam’s population will increase by 25% within 6-8 years, and complained there’s never enough budget. Nakaima agreed, noting similar problems exist here.

Camacho said there’s a need for expanding the harbor in Guam to accommodate ships bringing in building supplies, and said “we need 12,000~15,000 workers” to build all the new facilities. Where do we get these workers?” He also extended an invitation to Nakaima to visit Guam.

“Sure, I would like to visit Guam,” Nakaima told Camacho, noting he wants to see military bases leaving for U.S. Territory.

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