The move of some 8,000 Marines and their families from Okinawa to Guam crept a step closer Tuesday when Japan’s House of Representatives approved a bilateral pact that obligates Japan to contribute $2.8 billion for the move.

The bill, supported by Japan’s ruling parties, is expected to be rejected by the House of Councilors later this week, according to officials of Status of Forces Agreement Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, in such cases the lower house’s decision overrides.

The bill is considered a treaty and is expected be enacted by May. For a treaty, the choice of the House of Representatives overrides the selection of the House of Councilors as provided by constitution, the officials said. The bill is to become effective 30 days after the House of Councilors vote.

The pact on the Guam move was signed by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Japan Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone in February.

As part of the realignment, Marine Corps Air Station Futenma is to be closed and replaced by a new air facility on Camp Schwab.

The move of the Marines to Guam is scheduled to be complete in 2014.

The bilateral agreement also limits the use of the funds to the Guam project.

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