9 Jul 2004

US rules out putting Okinawa troops on Guam

3:33 pm on 9 July 2004

The US military's ruling out withdrawing its forces from Japanese territory to a base on Guam.

It comes amid discussions between the US and Japan on moving American troops to the Japanese mainland.

The commander of the US Marine Corps in the Pacific, suggests that moving from Okinawa to Guam would be a move in the wrong direction.

Lieutenant General Wallace Gregson says basing troops from Okinawa island on the Japanese mainland is being discussed.

Lieutenant General Gregson says this would be in line with increased training undertaken by US and Japanese self-defence forces.

About 17-thousand Marines are based on Okinawa.

Their presence has sparked protests, especially after three US personnel raped a Okinawan schoolgirl in 1995.