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Japan Welcomes US Base Agreement

Japan's Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba (L), flanked by Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka, is surrounded by reporters after a cabinet ministers meeting at Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's official residence in Tokyo, April 27, 2012.
Japan's Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba (L), flanked by Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka, is surrounded by reporters after a cabinet ministers meeting at Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's official residence in Tokyo, April 27, 2012.

The Japanese government is welcoming an agreement with the United States on the redeployment of U.S. marines from Okinawa.

Speaking to reporters in Tokyo, Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba described the agreement as a positive achievement.

He said the transfer of 9,000 marines to Guam and other Asia-Pacific sites and the eventual return of several military facilities represent concrete steps towards reducing the burden of the U.S. military presence in Okinawa.

Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka said the deal will maintain and reinforce the deterrence posed by U.S. forces in the region.

The deal calls for separate discussions on the issue of Futenma, a U.S. base located in the heart of an urban area. In 2006, Japan and the United States agreed to move the base within the prefecture to the more rural area of Henoko.

But the plan has faced strong local opposition, including by the governor of Okinawa, who wants the base to be moved outside the prefecture.

Defense Minister Tanaka said the choice of Henoko remains the “only viable option” for the relocation of Futenma.

Tanaka said the government is not considering any alternatives because they would be too difficult to implement.

The governor of Okinawa said Friday that he welcomed the government’s efforts to decouple the issue of Futenma from the deal over the local bases. He said he’s waiting to learn exactly when the military facilities will be returned to Okinawa.

U.S.Military Personnel in Japan

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by: @ Jim
April 29, 2012 8:33 AM
Bring all troops home to unemployment lines?

by: dave
April 27, 2012 9:55 AM
we REALLY need to get out of the united nations ! if obama, paneta etc.. can tell congress they don't need congress to wage war, because they have nato ? that's f---ked up!! we have over 735 bases outside the usa. wonder why we're so broke !! close them all get rid of dhs, tfa, cia, nsa, fda, epa..... we are in deep !

by: Jim
April 27, 2012 9:50 AM
Why not bring all of our military personnel home?

by: Bubba
April 27, 2012 9:12 AM
They kicking us out and Obama Admin is happy, how typical

by: Mark Murata
April 27, 2012 8:54 AM
Japan likes this agreement? It certainly doesn't look like Gemba or Tanaka like the agrement...

For the record, the agreement sucks ***.

by: Michael Brady
April 27, 2012 8:28 AM
Why do we have bases in Japan? For that matter, why do we have them in Germany, Italy, Greece, South Korea, Greenland, Spain and the UK? American can deploy its military to any point on the globe in hours. Why do we continue to spend billions of American dollars to protect people and governments who continually vote against us in the United Nations?

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