Japan’s Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera met with Eddie Calvo, governor of the U.S. territory of Guam, at the Ministry of Defense (MOD) on June 28. Onodera called on Calvo for cooperation in relocating U.S. Marines stationed in Okinawa to Guam. Calvo expressed understanding for the relocation, saying it will benefit both Japan and the U.S. and also contribute to the stability of the Western Pacific region. The governor will visit Okinawa on June 29 and go to the prefectural government office and other locations.
The Japanese and U.S. governments agreed in 2013 to start transferring 4,000 of the approximately 19,000 U.S. Marines in Okinawa to Guam in the early 2020s.
Onodera said, “We are hoping to proceed with the relocation in order to reduce Okinawa’s base-hosting burden.” Calvo touched on the progress of the relocation by saying, “It’s going smoothly, but some parts are slightly delayed. I think the transition will be made possible through cooperation between Japan and the U.S.” Lower House member Mikio Shimoji also attended the meeting.