US won't move unwanted Marines from Japan by 2014: media

This may a potential blow to Prime Minister Naoto Kan who is already struggling over a U.S. base dispute.

US won't move unwanted Marines from Japan by 2014: media

Washington has given up on moving 8,000 U.S. Marines to the U.S. territory of Guam from Japan by 2014, media said on Friday, a potential blow to Prime Minister Naoto Kan who is already struggling over a U.S. base dispute.

The planned transfer of Marines from the southern island of Okinawa is a part of a larger agreement between Washington and Tokyo that includes relocating functions of the U.S. Futenma airbase in Okinawa to a less crowded area on the island.

Washington's likely delay in transfering the Marines could push back the relocation of Futenma as well, Yomiuri newspaper reported. It said the likely delay was disclosed in a briefing given by the U.S. Navy to Guam's government.

The government pledge to move the base off Okinawa had sparked anger from local residents who complain of noise, pollution and crime, and led to the resignation of Kan's predecessor in June.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada reaffirmed in a meeting in Hanoi on Friday that experts will work out details of the Futenma relocation site by end-August as agreed in a May deal, Kyodo news agency said.

Yomiuri reported this week that Washington and Tokyo have started informal talks on postponing a decision.

An election for the Okinawa governor is due in November and the result could also affect plans to move the airbase, coming near the time when U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to visit Japan for an Asia-Pacific leaders' summit.


Reuters

Last Mod: 23 Temmuz 2010, 17:17
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