US, Japan Mulling Marines' Transfer To Guam

Published February 7, 2012 4:54AM (EST)

TOKYO (AP) — The United States and Japan are discussing a plan to transfer thousands of troops to Guam despite their failure to replace a major U.S. Marine base on the southern Japan island of Okinawa.

Officials from both sides are meeting in Washington this week to discuss the proposal. A senior Japanese official says it would involve sending 4,700 Marines — instead of the 8,000 agreed to in 2006 — to Guam from Okinawa.

The transfer is a key to U.S. troop restructuring in the Pacific. It has been in limbo for years because it was linked to the closure and replacement of the strategically important base on Okinawa, which has been fiercely opposed by local residents.

By Salon Staff

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