Tue, February 17, 2009
World > Asia-Pacific > Hillary Clinton kicks off Asian tour

Japan, U.S. inks new accord to relocate U.S. Marines to Guam

2009-02-17 04:03:56 GMT2009-02-17 12:03:56 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) shakes hands with Japanese Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone before their talks in Tokyo Feb. 17, 2009.(Xinhua/Tomohiro Osumi/Pool)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) shakes hands with Japanese Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone before their talks in Tokyo Feb. 17, 2009.(Xinhua/Tomohiro Osumi/Pool)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) shakes hands with Japanese Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone during their talks in Tokyo Feb. 17, 2009.(Xinhua/Tomohiro Osumi/Pool)

TOKYO, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- Visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Japanese counterpart Hirofumi Nakasone signed a new pact Tuesday on the relocation of U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam, honoring the two allies' commitment to the 2006 road map on realigning U.S. forces in Japan.

Under the accord, Japan will spend a total of 2.8 billion U.S. dollars on "projects to develop facilities and infrastructure on Guam" for the relocation of some 8,000 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force personnel and their 9,000 family members from Okinawa by 2014.

Japan is also bound to provide 6.09 billion dollars of the estimated 10.27 billion dollars needed for the relocation of Marines to the U.S. territory in the Pacific.

"We have agreed to steadily implement the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan based on the road map to reduce the local burden on Okinawa and elsewhere while keeping up deterrence," Nakasone was quoted as saying at a joint press conference.

"The Guam agreement we have just signed signifies the two countries' strong commitment to the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan," he said.

Hailing the pact as "one more example of the strong and vibrant alliance that we enjoy," Clinton said,"we intend to move forward to implement it (the accord)."

The document is to be submitted to the current Diet session for its approval.

In the fiscal 2009 budget, the Japanese government has already earmarked 34.6 billion yen (376.09 million dollars) for the relocation projects in the fiscal 2009 budget.

As Japan's central government and local municipalities differ over the exact location of new runways to be built around the U.S. camp, the relocation, which is expected to be completed by 2014, has been delayed.

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