Japan to accept US marine relocation plan: PM to US envoy
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Last Updated: Friday, March 12, 2010, 13:22
  
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.

PTI


First Published: Friday, March 12, 2010, 13:22


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