U.S., Japanese Officials Discuss Military Realignment

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2012 — U.S. and Japan­ese rep­re­sen­ta­tives met at the State Depart­ment yes­ter­day to dis­cuss changes under con­sid­er­a­tion to agree­ments on realign­ment of U.S. forces in the Pacif­ic.

Specif­i­cal­ly, the dis­cus­sions cen­tered on the 2006 Roadmap to Realign­ment and the 2009 Guam Inter­na­tion­al Agree­ment, said Navy Cmdr. Leslie Hull-Ryde, a Pen­ta­gon spokes­woman.

Par­tic­i­pants reaf­firmed their gov­ern­ments’ com­mit­ment to main­tain­ing and enhanc­ing a robust secu­ri­ty alliance ded­i­cat­ed to Japan’s secu­ri­ty and to main­tain­ing peace and secu­ri­ty in the Asia-Pacif­ic region, Hull-Ryde said.

“The [U.S. gov­ern­ment] remains com­mit­ted to enhanc­ing the U.S.-Japan alliance and strength­en­ing oper­a­tional capa­bil­i­ties while sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduc­ing the impact of U.S. bases on the Oki­nawan peo­ple,” she added.

These and relat­ed long­stand­ing agree­ments, nego­ti­at­ed over many years, describe the link­age between the Marine Corps Air Sta­tion Futen­ma relo­ca­tion, the Marine Corps move to Guam and land returns on Oki­nawa, the com­man­der said.

Dur­ing the meet­ing, she added, “rep­re­sen­ta­tives reaf­firmed their sup­port of the prin­ci­ples of the 2006 Realign­ment Roadmap and pur­suit of a mil­i­tary pres­ence in Japan and the Asia-Pacif­ic region that is oper­a­tional­ly resilient, geo­graph­i­cal­ly dis­trib­uted and polit­i­cal­ly sus­tain­able.”

The two coun­tries remain ful­ly com­mit­ted to the imple­men­ta­tion of a Futen­ma replace­ment facil­i­ty and the relo­ca­tion of the Futen­ma air base to Camp Schwab, she added.

Guam remains an essen­tial part of the larg­er U.S. Asia-Pacif­ic strat­e­gy, which includes devel­op­ing Guam as a strate­gic hub and to estab­lish­ing an oper­a­tional Marine Corps pres­ence on Guam by relo­cat­ing some Marines there from Oki­nawa.

No deci­sions were made at yesterday’s meet­ing, Hull-Ryde said.

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)