Guam – A Delegation of Okinawan legislators is not only on Guam to follow-up on the status of the military buildup but also to see if it would be possible for Guam to take on an additional 4 thousand marines on top of the 10 thousand marines slated to come here.
“They’re actually here also to look at the possibility of Guam even taking an additional four thousand more marines from the Futenma air base,” said Speaker Judi Wonpat.
The Futenma air base has been called the lynchpin in the Japan / U.S. agreement to relocate some 10 thousand marines and their families from Okinawa to Guam. Okinawans want the Futenma air base and it’s four thousand marines removed altogether. The U.S. wants to relocate Futenma but to a coastal town in Okinawa that is home to the endangered marine mammal called the Dugong.
Okinawans are opposed to this and want Futenma removed entirely from their island because of noise pollution and a helicopter crash that happened in a residential area. But they’re not only looking at Guam as a place to put the unwanted marines they’re also considering Tinian. In fact leaders on Tinian have said that they eager to accept the four thousand marines.
Speaker Wonpat and other senators made it known to the Okinawan assembly that Guam would not be prepared for an additional four thousand marines. “Based on our infrastructure we’re just not ready we did indicate that we had made the recommendation to do a slow down and stretch out so they understand that as well and so of course they are concerned because if we’re not ready then it makes it a lot more difficult for them to move forward,” said the speaker.
The Okinawan government has unanimously passed a resolution calling for the removal of the 4,000 marines at Futenma altogether but the U.S. has yet to agree. In fact reports that Japan would fund the entire move are false. Okinawan prefectural assembly member Tetsuji Shingaki explains. “There is no agreement between U.S. and Japan regarding these four thousand marines but when we had a meeting over in Tinian maybe they thought they could accept those four thousand and that’s what we heard so we had discussed something about this but it may be some information being spread out on that basis,” said Shingaki.
PNC asked if japan would be wiling to fund the move as suggested by some media reports to which Shingaki replied, “they don’t know anything about that.”
The Okinawan prefectural assembly has no authority to promise funding for such a movement of marines but they are hoping that Japan’s National Government and the U.S. government can come to some sort of agreement to have the Futenma marines removed from Okinawa altogether.