Guthertz Seeks Clarification on Japanese Buildup Funds; Loan or Grant?

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Guam – For  the  second  time  Senator  Judi  Guthertz  has  urged  Assistant  Secretary  of  the  Navy Jackalyne Pfannenstiel to get to the bottom of her continuing confusion over whether Guam is  expected  to  agree  to  sign  off  on  a  Japanese  loan  for  some  $740  million  for  island
infrastructure required by the military buildup.

A meeting between Japanese lawmaker Ichiro Aisawa and some Guam senators Tuesday did  nothing  to  clarify  the  situation.  According  to  a  media  report  [Marianas  Variety], Aisawa, an eight term LDP member of the Japan Diet, told the local lawmakers that “the Japan Bank for International Cooperation is willing to lend $740 million to finance power and water infrastructure.”

“But the whole point is that Guam has never expected to pay for infrastructure needs required for the military buildup on the backs of local ratepayers. We don’t want the loan,”  Senator  Guthertz  said,  pointing  out  that  2006  Japan‐U.S.  buildup  makes  no reference  to  loan  arrangements  but  to  “Japanese  cash  contributions  and  their  accrued interest  only  for  projects  to  develop  facilities  and  infrastructure  on  Guam  for  the
Relocation.”

“Unless there’s some under the table arrangement we haven’t heard about, the agreement is quite clear,” Senator Guthertz said, “and it has Secretary of State Clinton’s signature on it.”

In her August 10 letter to Secretary Pfannenstiel, Guthertz said:

“We’re not trying to buy a fancy car or a sewage system on credit. In fact, we weren’t a party to the negotiations during which it was clearly recognized that the requirements made of Guam to satisfy U.S. and Japanese goals in the buildup called for outside, deep‐pocketed assistance to satisfy local infrastructure needs.”  

“So again,” Senator Guthertz said, “it’s important to put this important question about the buildup to rest at long last.”