Marianas Variety Guam Edition – The Local and Regional Newspaper

12 23Thu04172014

Settings

Font Size

Back Local News US agrees to cancel $3.29B in Guam loans

US agrees to cancel $3.29B in Guam loans

  • PDF

THE United States and Japan have agreed to cancel plans for Tokyo to provide $3.29 billion in loans slated to help finance construction of housing for families of the Marines to be moved to Guam from Okinawa, according to reports from Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan Times and other news outlets.

The papers reported that high-level Japanese sources had informed them that this decision was confirmed during the bilateral meeting of high-level defense and foreign affairs officials reviewing the 2006 roadmap for realigning U.S. forces in Japan.

Because the U.S. decided to keep the Marine Corps command in Okinawa intact, and to transfer mainly combat troops to Guam, new housing on Guam was deemed unnecessary, according to the sources.

According to the agreement, since the U.S. relocation has been scaled down, the total relocation cost to Guam will be lowered from the $10.27 billion (837 billion yen) agreed upon in 2006 to $8.7 billion, the Yomiuri reported. This will reduce Japan's share of the relocation costs to $2.8 billion, which will be used to build other facilities in the Marianas, the sources said.

It was also reported that Tokyo and Washington had additionally agreed that Japan's financial assistance for the relocation will include construction costs for training sites on the Tinian and Pagan islands of the Northern Mariana Islands, where the joint U.S.-Japan defense drills will be held.

Lower

Because Japan will cover the cost of building these training sites on Tinian and Pagan, the construction costs allocated to facilities on Guam facilities may also be lowered from the amount decided upon in the 2006 agreement.

Of the 19,500 U.S. Marines now based on Okinawa, a total of 8,600 are to be relocated. According to the Yomiuri’s report, the plan now is to send 4,000 troops to Guam; 2,600 to Hawaii; 1,200 to Australia; and 800 to the U.S. mainland.

In a press conference held last Friday, Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba said Japan and the United States have yet to discuss when some of the land occupied by U.S. forces in Okinawa will be returned to local control, but he expects some land will be transferred even before the relocation of the Marines is completed.

Genba also signaled that the Japanese government is satisfied with the results obtained so far in the bilateral negotiations.

"We will be able to obtain some results" by the time Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda visits Washington later this month, Genba said. "I personally think that the results will be roughly in line with what I first thought."

Please review the User Content Posting Rules
comments powered by Disqus