10 Nov 2008

Guam relocation of US military may cost more and take longer

4:48 pm on 10 November 2008

The planned relocation of 8,000 U.S. Marines and their families from Japan's Okinawa island to Guam, may cost more and take longer than initially expected.

The transfer could be delayed until at least 2015 and exceed the initial ten point three billion US dollars it was estimated to cost.

Japan's Yomiuri newspaper says with the U.S. Department of Defense likely to be facing budget cuts in the wake of the financial crisis, the Government may ask Tokyo to foot a bigger portion of the bill

Japan has so far agreed to contribute about six billion dollars for the transfer costs.

In New York last Wednesday, Admiral Timothy Keating, the senior U.S. commander in the Pacific, suggested the relocation may not happen by 2014 as planned but reiterated that it would go ahead despite looming budgetary constraints.

A report by the Government Accountability Office suggested in May that the project could be pushed back, citing inadequate infrastructure in Guam and the growing fiscal burden on both governments.

In September, it said costs could go beyond 15 billion US dollars.