Guam – Japan’s Asahi Shinbum is reporting that a review of diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks reveals that the costs of the Marine relocation to Guam were doctored and the number of Marines to be moved to Guam inflated to make the plan more politically palatable.
The Asahi Shimbun analyzed 7,000 Japan-related diplomatic cables obtained from WikiLeaks.
According to their report, a diplomatic cable sent by the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo to the U.S. State Department explained that Japan’s share of the cost of the relocation was made to appear smaller by inflating the U.S. contribution through the inclusion of an unnecessary $1 billion dollar military road between Andersen and Naval Station Guam.
According to the Asahi report, during negotiations over the Marine relocation, a central stumbling block was how much Japan would have to pay.
The U. S. initially asked that Japan contribute 75 percent of the total, but the two sides eventually agreed on 59 percent.
But, Asahi reports that if the $1 billion road project on Guam was excluded in the U.S. contribution to the costs of the move, then Japan’s burden increases to about 66 percent.
The cables reveal that the road was not necessary for the completion of the move and that project has since been dropped.
The cables also reveal that the numbers of those to be moved to Guam was also inflated to 8,000 Marines and 9,000 family members to “optimize political value” (of the agreement).