25 Apr 2012

2,700 marines to move to Hawaii from Japan

6:51 pm on 25 April 2012

One of Hawaii's US senators, Daniel Inouye, says as many as 2,700 US marines based in Japan will move to Hawaii as the Pentagon scales back the size of the transfer planned for Guam.

Mr Inouye says this troop movement will occur after extensive discussions with the leaders of Japan and it highlights Hawaii's importance as the focus of the national defence shifts to the Asia-Pacific region.

The Pentagon is expected to announce as soon as tomorrow that it intends to send about 4,700 U.S. Marines now stationed in Japan to Guam, as previously reported, as well as the contingent going to Hawaii.

Marines also will rotate through Australia, and hundreds will be stationed on the U.S. mainland, probably on the West Coast,.

Under a 2006 agreement with Japan, 8,600 Marines and 9,000 dependents were to be transferred from Okinawa to Guam by 2014.

Now the Obama administration is seeking a less costly plan.