25 Apr 2006

Guam awaits transfer of US troops from Japan

4:30 pm on 25 April 2006

The Guam administration says the agreement between the US and Japan over how to finance the relocation of around 8,000 marines has brought the arrival of the soldiers a step closer.

Over the weekend, the US and Japan agreed that the Japanese would shoulder 59 percent of the costs of relocating the marines from Okinawa to Guam.

Japan is expected to contribute about 6.1 billion US dollars.

The Guam administration spokesperson Shawn Gumataotao says the governor, Felix Camacho, is happy that the long-anticipated move is close.

"We still await official word from the US Department of Defense on some of the details of the agreement but the governor is pleased, as is the administration, with knowing that they are very close and the marines will be coming to Guam very soon."

Shawn Gumataotao.

Felix Camacho says with the increased population the island could need up to 900 million dollars for infrastructure improvements.

No date has been set for the relocation although the Japanese Vice Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya has told the Jiji Press the transfer will be done over an eight year period.