Japanese Government Agrees to Spend $3 Billion to Boot U.S. Marines out of Okinawa

Saturday, October 05, 2013
Marines on Okinawa (photo: AP, Kyodo News)

Japan’s government has agreed to give Washington $3 billion to facilitate the downsizing of the U.S. Marine force on Okinawa.

 

The longstanding American military presence on Okinawa has been a sore point for many Japanese living on the strategic island, which has been under U.S. control since World War II.

 

Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel met with Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera to sign an amendment to the 2009 Guam International Agreement (pdf), which calls for removing 4,000 Marines from the island.

 

Japan’s contribution of $3.1 billion will cover more than one third of the $8.6 billion that the U.S. will spend to transfer the Marines and their dependants to Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, as well as develop new infrastructure to support them.

 

Under a separate agreement signed in 2012, the U.S. plans to withdraw another 5,000 Marines from Okinawa and relocate them to Hawaii and Australia. (The number was reduced from 8,000, which had included family members.)

 

Members of the III Marine Expeditionary Force stationed on Okinawa won’t begin moving until sometime in the early 2020s.

 

For many of the island’s residents, the move can’t come soon enough. Many Japanese have been calling for the U.S. to get off Okinawa for decades, particularly after American military personnel stationed on the island were convicted of raping a Japanese woman last year and gang-raping a 12-year-old Japanese girl in 1995.

-Noel Brinkerhoff

 

To Learn More:

United States and Japan Sign Protocol to Amend the Guam International Agreement (State Department)

Japan, U.S. to OK Deal on Transfer of Marines (Japan Times)

Japan to Pay $3.1 Billion to Relocate Okinawa Marines to Guam (Agence France-Presse)

1995 Okinawa Rape Incident (Wikipedia)

Okinawa Rape Case: Japan Court Jails US Sailors (BBC News)

Comments

Billy 11 months ago
If Japan wants the US out early, fine then pay the full $8.6 billion and what about the cost of reconstruction after WWII?
Mad Angel on FB 1 year ago
I'm confused.....what about 'the so-called “2 plus 2” meeting in Tokyo this week of US Secretary of State John Kerry and Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel with their Japanese counterparts marked a significant escalation of the US military build-up against China. The lengthy joint statement announced major deployments of hi-tech US weaponry to Japan and a green light for Japanese remilitarisation, within the framework of “a more robust alliance”.....??

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