• Home
  • About
  • Guest Post

    Japan agrees to pay 59% of Guam troop transfer

    Japan Defense Agency chief Fukushiro Nukaga says Japan and the US Department of Defense have come to an agreement on the military restructuring issue:

    Japanese Defense Minister Fukushiro Nukaga told reporters after his three-hour meeting Sunday with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that Japan wanted to have an appropriate sharing of costs in transferring 8,000 Marines from Okinawa to the Pacific island of Guam.

    Japan has offered to pay $2.8 billion. It would also finance loans to the United States worth $3.3 billion, the remainder of its $6.1 billion share. Japan would shoulder 59 percent of the realignment cost.

    “We have come to an understanding that we both feel is in the best interests of our two countries,” Rumsfeld said after the meetings.

    Japan and the United States are close allies. On Friday, Japan’s Cabinet approved a six-month extension of its non-combat support for the U.S.-led anti-terrorism campaign in Afghanistan, officials said.

    Of course, there are still some hurdles to be cleared, but they’re mostly internal, related to NIMBY and environmental issues raised over proposed new sites for some military facilities to be relocated within Japan. None of the reports I’ve seen indicates that Nukaga gave word of any changes on those.

    The Nikkei, BTW, says that Ambassador Thomas Schieffer was present for part of the negotiations in Washington. No statement from him that I’ve seen, though, which is as per usual. His presence hasn’t really seemed to register much, at least compared to Howard Baker’s. Interestingly–and I can’t believe I didn’t notice this before–the restructuring of US military presence is not listed as one of the “Issues in Focus” on the US Embassy homepage.

    Leave a Reply