"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Signing of the Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of the United States of America concerning the Implementation of the Relocation of the III Marine Expeditionary Force Personnel and Their Dependents from Okinawa to Guam

[Date] February 17, 2009
[Source] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

1. Background

(1) With a view to reducing the burden of local communities while maintaining a sufficient level of deterrence in the region, the Governments of Japan and the U.S. compiled the "United States-Japan Roadmap for Realignment Implementation" ("Roadmap") at the Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee (the "2+2" Meeting) held on May 2006. As part of the implementation of the Roadmap, the two governments agreed to relocate the US Marines stationed in Okinawa (the III Marine Expeditionary Force) and their dependents to Guam.

(2) The Governments of Japan and the U.S. negotiated the agreement in order to implement the projects related to the relocation in FY2009. The two governments reached a final accord, and the Agreement was signed today in Tokyo by Mr. Hirofumi Nakasone, Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State.

2. Main Points of the Agreement

Confirming the relevant issues stipulated in the Roadmap, this Agreement secures the actions by both Japan and the U.S., including the funding for the relocation of the US Marines in Okinawa to Guam, which the two countries will jointly carry out. The Agreement also stipulates the United States’ appropriate management of the funds provided by Japan and equal treatment for all of those who will be involved in the relocation project.

Significance of Concluding the Agreement

(1) The conclusion of the Agreement, which legally secures the actions by both Japan and the U.S., including multi-year funding, ensures the relocation of the US Marines in Okinawa to Guam as promised in the Roadmap. This will lead to reducing the burden on the local people in Okinawa.

(2) The Agreement also sets a legal framework for procedures to ensure that the US Government properly manages the fund provided by Japan, which is up to 2.8 billion US dollars.