Support our mission
 

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — It’s been six months since the U.S. and Japan released a report outlining plans to realign U.S. forces in Japan.

Since the October report, the media focus has been on local opposition to some parts of the plan and on the extensive bilateral negotiations to hash out the details on implementing the realignment. High-level officials from both countries were to wrap up two days of meetings in Tokyo on Friday that they hoped would bring them closer to completing arrangements in time for Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s planned June meeting with President Bush in Washington.

Here’s what’s on the table concerning realignment:

¶ Relocating air operations from Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to a new facility to be built on lower Camp Schwab and adjacent water areas of Oura Bay.

¶ Relocating the headquarters of the III Marine Expeditionary Force to Guam and realigning remaining Marine units on Okinawa into a Marine Expeditionary Brigade. The move would include the transfer of 7,000 to 8,000 Marines and their dependents out of Okinawa.

¶ Japan contributing to the cost of the move of the Marines to Guam. U.S. officials have pegged the cost at $10 billion and asked Japan to cover 75 percent. It remains a major stumbling block to hammering out an agreement on implementing the realignment.

¶ Providing facilities at mainland Japan Air and Maritime Self-Defense Force bases for Marine KC-130 refueling aircraft.

¶ Marine Corps units remaining on Okinawa would be consolidated into a smaller total land area, enabling the “return of significant land in the densely populated areas south of Kadena Air Base,” according to the October report. Japanese officials have since identified the land to be returned as the U.S. Army’s Naha Military Port, Camp Kinser, MCAS Futenma and parts of Camp Foster. The return of Camp Lester, agreed to in 1996, already is under way.

¶ A U.S. Navy carrier air wing would be transferred from Naval Air Station Atsugi to MCAS Iwakuni.

¶ Moving elements of the U.S. Army’s I Corps from Fort Lewis, Wash., to Camp Zama, adding about 300 personnel.

¶ Transferring Japan’s Air Defense Command to Yokota Air Base, west of Tokyo.

¶ Deploying X-band radar to Japan as part of a joint anti-ballistic missile defense program.

¶ Relocating some fighter jet training from U.S. air bases to Japan Air Self-Defense Force bases to improve bilateral interoperability and reduce the impact of training activities on the host communities, particularly Kadena Air Base.

Migrated

stars and stripes videos

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up