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U.S. to Integrate Air Force Base in Japan with Base in Guam

U.S. to Integrate Air Force Base in Japan with Base in Guam

Posted August. 29, 2004 21:56,   


Japan’s Mainichi Daily News reported Saturday that the United States has suggested moving its 5th U.S. Air Force headquarters out of Yokoda--near Tokyo in Japan--to Guam and integrating it with the 13th Air Force headquarters sometime in October.

Officials from Japan’s Foreign Ministry and National Defense Ministry met with their U.S. counterparts Saturday in Washington, D.C. and discussed the relocation of U.S. military forces, based on the premise of the U.S. reducing its military presence in Japan, including Okinawa, while retaining its deterrent capability.

At the meeting, the U.S. revealed its plan to integrate the Air Force headquarters in Yokoda with the one in Guam, reducing the number of Americans at the Yokoda base from 240 to 70. The commander of the 5th Air Force would stay at the Yokoda base.

According to Japanese experts, the abolition of the U.S. Air Force headquarters in Japan means the U.S. plans to reinforce its military force in Asia and the Middle East instead of reducing its task to defend Japan.

The outline of the relocation plan will reportedly be confirmed before the U.S. presidential election in November.

Hun-Joo Cho hanscho@donga.com