Tag Archives: Leon Panetta

Japan pushing Okinawa for progress on US base

Japan is stepping up efforts ahead of new U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s visit next week to break a stalemate over the relocation of a Marine base that has stalled the restructuring of U.S. military forces in Asia.

Moving the base is an essential step in Washington’s big-picture plan to reposition about 8,000 Marines from the southern Japanese island of Okinawa to the tiny U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, which is set to become a crucial regional hub for the U.S. Marines, Air Force and Navy.

Senior Japanese leaders have held repeated meetings in recent weeks with top politicians on Okinawa to seek their cooperation in moving the base — Marine Corps Air Station Futenma — to a less-crowded area of the island.

Read the rest of the story: Japan pushing Okinawa for progress on US base ahead of visit by new US defense chief.