21 Oct 2011

Guam Congresswoman unimpressed with Okinawa merger talk

1:31 pm on 21 October 2011

Guam's United States Congresswoman, Madeleine Bordallo, says US Senator, Jim Webb, is giving false hope in calling for a realigning of US marines based on the Japanese island of Okinawa.

There are plans to relocate about 8,000 marines to Guam as part of a major re-organisation on Okinawa, including a relocation of the Futenma base to a less populated part of the island.

But Senator Webb has written to the Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, saying Futenma could be merged into another US base on Okinawa, Kadena.

He says this is the most workable, cost-effective and least intrusive approach to resolving the military realignment issue.

But Congresswoman Bordallo says the Senator is giving false hope that the matter of realigning US forces in Japan can be revisited.

She says the letter is unhelpful to the Japanese Prime Minister's efforts to obtain consensus on these issues in Japan.