On the agenda was the question of the realignment of US forces in Japan, including the removal of 8,000 US Marines from Okinawa to Guam. The debate on last year’s agreement on US realignment
, in which Japan agreed to pay $6.9 billion towards the Guam relocation, is likely to heat up now, as the Abe Cabinet has just submitted a realignment bill to the lower house of the Diet.
The Democratic Party of Japan — including the Upper House member for whom I work — has raised questions about whether it’s appropriate for Japan to be contributing this sum towards the cost of preparing Guam for a major influx of US forces. Such questions are reasonable, considering Japan’s prevailing budgetary difficulties. And of course Japan should demand transparency and accountability about the project to expand existing US Military facilities on Guam
to accommodate the new Marine presence that its contributions will be supporting.