Okinawan Delegation Seeks Collaboration With Guam Lawmakers Over Impact of Military Base Relocation

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Guam – The Officer of the Speaker has issued the following release regarding the visit yesterday [Thursday] by members of an Okinawan delegation. In a visit to the Guam Legislature yesterday, the Okinawan Prefecture said that they are facing the same struggles with being heard
by their national government, and want to work collaboratively with the Government of Guam to address the mutual concerns that come with the
relocation.

The Prefecture came in a fact finding mission to discuss the imminent relocation. They recently passed a resolution rejecting the base’s move to the
north, where they would face similar issues that Guam faces now—inadequate infrastructure and support for the base and growing population.

“It is very telling that a foreign government pays a personal visit to express their recognition of the grave concerns that our island is sure to face, and even propose alternatives, when, on the other hand, Guam is struggling on a daily basis, to make our own federal government understand our plight,” said Federal Affairs Chair Senator Rory Respicio.

“They asked us directly how we can collaborate on this mutual issue,” said Speaker Won Pat, who facilitated the meeting. “They do not want us to take a burden they have rejected themselves.”

The Okinawan officials were given copies of Resolutions 275 and 444. Discussion was had on the possibility of a joint resolution between the island nations. “We asked for their assistance and advocacy as fellow islanders,” said Speaker Won Pat. “It was a refreshing meeting.