Lawless Announces Agreement on Futenma

Statement by Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Richard Lawless
Tokyo, Japan

October 26, 2005

The U.S. side, taking into consideration the importance of the Japan-U.S. alliance, and based on discussions yesterday and today with the GOJ - including a meeting with JDA Director General Ohno and more recent meetings with senior-level MOFA and JDA officials - has accepted the most recent JDA proposal and plan for the relocation of the USMC Air Station at Futenma.

In confirming to us the details of this plan, the GOJ has emphasized that the plan we have accepted, subject to USG interagency review, provides a comprehensive, capable and executable solution for the replacement of FRF in an expeditious and complete manner.

Our intention is to formally accept this specific proposal later this week by including it as one of several realignment actions to be jointly recommended in our bilateral report on the progress of Alliance Transformation and Realignment.

It is our intention that this report will be reviewed and approved at the Ministerial level in a 2+2 Meeting to be held this Saturday in Washington, D.C.

Again, the GOJ, led by the JDA as the executing agency, has assured the USG that this evolved plan represents the best solution available and assured us that this plan can and will be fully executable in a comprehensive and timely manner, thereby allowing us to return Futenma Air Station to the people of Okinawa and Japan. We look forward to working with GOJ, specifically the JDA, to implement this important decision.