8 May 2010

Japanese lawmakers visit CNMI to discuss Futenma relocation

8:47 am on 8 May 2010

The governor of the Northern Marianas, Benigno Fitial and the governor of Guam, Felix Camacho will today meet with six key lawmakers from the ruling Democratic Party of Japan.

The gathering is reported to look at a proposal to relocate up to 4,000 troops from the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station at Futenma in Okinawa to Tinian.

Two-thirds of land on the CNMI island of Tinian is leased to the U.S. Department of Defense.

The Press secretary of CNMI's governor described the visit of the Japanese lawmakers as a "high-profile" one.

But she said the Fitial administration is firm in its position, that any decision to approve or disapprove any relocation of troops to Tinian, or any part of the CNMI, rests with the U.S. government.

Nevertheless, the CNMI Senate and House of Representatives passed separate resolutions urging the U.S. Department of Defense and Japan to consider Tinian as the best relocation site for up to 4,000 troops from Futenma.