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The leader of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands said the 8,000 U.S. Marines expected to relocate from Okinawa to Guam in a few years would train on Tinian, according to a Friday story published in the Saipan Tribune Online (www.saipantribune.com).

Gov. Beningo R. Fitial said he met Wednesday in Guam with U.S. Pacific Command deputy commander, Lt. Gen. Daniel Leaf, and U.S. Naval Forces Marianas commander, Rear Adm. Charles J. Leidig.

“The general made it very clear that they will come to Tinian for military exercises,” since there is no space for such training on Guam, Fitial was quoted in the Saipan Times.

A PACOM spokesman on Friday told Stars and Stripes the meeting with the governor did take place, but Cmdr. Jason Salata said he could not confirm the report about military training on Tinian.

“It is simply too soon to discuss specific details surrounding the movement of forces to Guam and the infrastructure development to support that move,” he said.

Fitial told the Saipan Tribune that CNMI welcomes the U.S. military. He noted that the military controls 17,799 square meters of public land on Tinian through a lease with the CNMI government.

Tinian, the second most populated island in CNMI, was used to launch the two B-29 aircraft that dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II.

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