12 Feb 2010

Guam tells Japan it cannot take more than 8000 marines from Okinawa

4:06 pm on 12 February 2010

Guam's governor Felix Camacho has told a visiting Japanese delegation that the island can't accommodate thousands more US marines from an air base in Japan's Okinawa.

However the Pacific Daily News reports that the governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, Benigno Fitial, has said he'd gladly welcome the troops.

Governors Camacho and Fitial met behind closed doors with Japanese officials and the heads of US military commands on Guam yesterday.

Earlier, they toured military installations on Guam to show the Japanese delegation how the US$6 billion their government is providing for the military buildup will be spent.

Japan is looking at whether Guam can accommodate more than the planned 8000 marines to transfer there from the current Okinawa base by 2014.

The transferral is part of a plan agreed on by Washington and Tokyo to relocate the Japan base to northern Okinawa to realign American troops in the country.

But many Okinawan officials are opposed to that, and Japan is reportedly looking at the possibility that more troops could leave Okinawa.

However Governor Camacho says that restrictions and limitations based on Guam's land availability, resources and capacities rule it out.