9 Feb 2009

Guam increasingly concerned at delays in preparations for US troops move from Okinawa

7:58 pm on 9 February 2009

A Guam senator says the territory is being left in an untenable position by Japanese and United States officials over the move of 8000 marines from Okinawa to Guam by 2014.

The commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific told Reuters last week that planning is behind schedule, and there's not enough money for the move.

But the Pentagon has said there's no reason to believe the military will not be able to meet the timeline.

Guam's deputy speaker, Benjamin Cruz, says Guam needs to know if it is going to happen, because they are spending millions of dollars on infrastructure to support the move.

"In the event that the military doesn't come here by 2014, or soon thereafter, or they don't come at all, because it obviously becomes too expensive, then we're left holding the bag of paying for these bonds....You know we're anticipating these new customers and if we don't get them, then the burden is going to have to be divided up among the civilian community that's stuck here."

Benjamin Cruz says the United States' Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton is due to go to Japan this month to sign an agreement for the relocation.