Japan agrees to pay $498 million toward Guam buildup
By TRAVIS J. TRITTEN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 14, 2010
SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Japan has agreed to provide $497.8 million in construction funds this year for the U.S. military buildup on Guam, the Joint Guam Program Office said Wednesday.
U.S. Ambassador John Roos met with Japan Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada in Tokyo on Tuesday to finalize the arrangement, part of a 2006 agreement to realign military forces in Japan.
The money will be used to build and design U.S. military base facilities as well as a fire station, port operations headquarters and medical clinic as the island prepares for the arrival of 8,600 Marines from Okinawa within the next few years, according to a program office new release.
The funding announcement came a day after Prime Minister Naoto Kan prevailed in a Democratic Party of Japan election for party leadership against a challenger who wanted to reopen discussions on base realignment issues. Wednesday’s announcement also comes less than a week before the U.S. Navy is to announce a final plan on how and where to locate the Marines, visiting aircraft carrier facilities and a missile defense operation on Guam.
Construction is likely to begin soon after that Navy record of decision is made.
About $352 million of the Japan funding will be used to build and design base facilities in the Finegayan area of Guam, including an administrative building, Marine Logistic Group headquarters, police station, training complex, enlisted dining facility and bachelor enlisted quarters, the program office said.
The money will also be used to build $25 million fire station in Finegaya and a $96 million medical clinic and a $25 million port operations headquarters in Apra, officials said.
A man walks along Guam's eastern shore in an area near Pagat, the site of an ancient Chamorro village, in the summer of 2010. The military originally proposed putting a firing range adjacent to the village on land stretching further north up the coast. That proposal, despite offers to keep the Pagat area accessible to the public, has not appeased some. Earlier that year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation put the area on its most endangered list.
TERI WEAVER/STARS AND STRIPES