Realignment of Marine Forces on Guam to Be Pushed Back, Official Says
Meetings between top officials from the United States and Japan this week most likely will result in postponing the 2014 deadline for completing the move of 8,000-plus Marines from Okinawa to Guam, an administration official said Monday.
“I think you can expect to see coming out of the meeting tomorrow a readjustment of the timeline going forward in a way that is more realistic and in a way that will allow us to achieve our joint and mutual goals,” said the official, speaking on background.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates will meet with their counterparts in Washington for the first time since Japan suffered an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown in March. The cost of those disasters, estimated at $300 million, has raised new questions about Japan’s commitment to the relocation plan, reported Stars and Stripes.
More recently, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved a defense authorization bill that would bar funding for the realignment of Marine forces to Guam until DOD studies the issue further and completes more detailed plans.