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.

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