Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya indicated at a news conference on Oct. 12 that the relocation of U.S. Marines in Okinawa to Guam will proceed regardless of progress made in the relocation of the Futenma Air Station to Henoko, Nago. Regarding the Japan-U.S. agreement of 2012 delinking Henoko relocation and Guam relocation, he said that “the policy remains unchanged.”
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga had stated at his news conference on Oct. 10 that “these two are, in effect, linked.” He said that because the U.S. Congress froze the budget for Guam relocation during the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) administration, the subsequent Abe administration had to demonstrate its posture of promoting Henoko relocation in order for the freeze to be lifted.
Iwaya explained at his news conference that Suga’s statement was made in light of the DPJ administration’s zigzagging on this issue. He indicated that the policy of “carrying out Guam relocation without fail” remains unchanged.