Japan to accept US marine relocation plan: PM to US envoy
Tokyo: Japan`s premier Yukio Hatoyama told
US Ambassador to Japan John Roos in December that Japan would
eventually accept 2006 accord to relocate US Marine Corps`
Futemma Air Station from Ginowan to Camp Schwab in Nago.
Tokyo, however, has been forced to seek another
relocation plan as the opponent to the current relocation
accord won the Nago mayoral election in January.
The premier`s temporary "verbal pledge" is believed to
have spurred US distrust in Japan, causing strain in the
bilateral ties between two nations.
As part of the 2006 accord on the realignment of US forces
in Japan, the heliport functions of Futemma base will be
relocated to the coastal area of the Henoko district in Nago
by 2014. The deal also includes the transfer of around 8,000
Marines to Guam from Okinawa.
Before meeting with Roos, Hatoyama told reporters he fully
understands the significance of the 2006 bilateral accord.
"I want to do everything in my power to create a situation
in which we will seek a site that is not in Henoko, if
possible, and to settle on it," he said, referring to the
designated location site in the Japan-US accord.
The Futemma relocation issue has emerged a as major issue
between Japan and the US since the coalition government of the
Democratic Party of Japan, Social Democratic Party and the
People`s New Party came to power last year.
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