24 Feb 2012

Guam voice irrelevant to US decision on build-up

2:34 pm on 24 February 2012

The vice speaker of Guam's legislature says the territory's views on United States plans to build up its military presence have no bearing on what the US will decide to do.

Fewer than 5,000 marines are now expected to be relocated from Okinawa to Guam, about half the number agreed under a broader 2006 accord to reorganise American troops in Japan.

Guam's Governor Eddie Calvo has set up a new group aimed at presenting a united voice on federal issues to Washington, which he says has been receiving mixed messages on the build-up.

But Senator Benjamin Cruz says while it's good the group has been set up, a Congressional Research Services report released this month shows the US will do whatever it wants.

"People fail to understand that since the beginning the 2006 realignment had a condition precedent. That meant that before the build-up was going to start on Guam, the Japanese/Okinawans needed to agree to and have substatial progress towards the Futenma replacement faciltity."

The vice speaker of Guam's legislature, Senator Benjamin Cruz.