2 Apr 2012

CNMI wants to renegotiate US military's 100-year lease of most of Tinian

2:38 pm on 2 April 2012

The governor of the Northern Marianas, Benigno Fitial, wants a renegotiation of the United States military's 100-year lease on two-thirds of the land on Tinian.

He says none of the promised development on the island has materialised in the past 35 years.

In a letter to the U.S. Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, Mr Fitial says not a single element of the Department's plan was ever implemented on the island.

Mr Fitial told Mr Panetta that as a consequence all the land the U.S. military is leasing on Tinian has sat idle and has caused direct and significant harm to the community.

He says it has inhibited economic development, undermining the ability of Tinian's economy to be self-sustaining while the uncertainty over possible military use has also stopped private land development.

Mr Fitial says the abandonment of the military infrastructure on the island has also caused health and safety concerns on Tinian.