U.S. To Remove 9,000 Marines From Okinawa

About 9,000 U.S. Marines will be moved out of Okinawa, and into other areas of the Asia-Pacific region.  About 10,000 Marines will remain.


About 9,000 U.S. Marines stationed on the Japanese island of Okinawa will be moved to the U.S. territory of Guam and other locations in the Asia-Pacific, including Hawaii, under a U.S.-Japan agreement announced Thursday.

The move is intended to spread U.S. forces around the Asia-Pacific area as part of the Obama administration's renewed focus on the region after a decade of war in the Middle East. It's also intended to lessen the U.S. presence in Japan, something many Japanese have grown to find burdensome.

The whole dispute over the U.S. military presence on Okinawa has its roots in the 1995 kidnapping and rape of a schoolgirl by three American servicemen. Top U.S. government officials publicly apologized for the crime, but tensions continued to grow despite a strong desire by Tokyo and Washington to maintain their historically close military and political alliance.

The administration acknowledges that Japan is critical in maintaining peace in the region, as well as giving the U.S. a strategic placement if North Korea were to attack the South; the administration says that the new agreement with Japan would make their alliance more sustainable, while maintaining a strong presence in an increasingly insecure region.

A timeline for the removal of the Marines has not been made public.

Under the new agreement, about 10,000 Marines will remain in Okinawa.

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  • by Nath Location: Colo Spgs on Apr 27, 2012 at 02:30 PM
    While we are on the subject of military personnel.... Just found out there will be about 20 Russian Airborne Assault Forces members coming to Fort Carson this May to take part in joint terror-war exercises with U.S. troops.
  • by Darrell Location: CSprings on Apr 27, 2012 at 10:36 AM
    Hey BOB, While this has been in the works for several years, not all the details were worked out when Georgie Peorgie was the prez. The credit goes to both. Lighten up!!!
  • by Bob Location: Black Forest on Apr 27, 2012 at 10:10 AM
    Not sure where you OR the AP get their marching orders from - but - this is NOT new and has nothing whatsoever to do with Obama. This move has been in the works for years and was started under the Bush Administration. Work has been going on on Guam for at leat 5 years in preparation for this relocation! Once again Obama tries to take credit for other administrations work!
    • reply
      by Your right Bob. on Apr 27, 2012 at 04:26 PM in reply to Bob
      I was stationed in Oki prior to Obama becoming POTUS, and they wanted the Marines gone back then. The DOD has been working on this since 2006.
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