Diet Members Visit Guam

January 31, 2007

Ambassador J. Thomas Schieffer and Deputy Commander of Pacific Command Lieutenant General Daniel P. Leaf will host a visit by a group of Japanese Diet members to Guam on Feb 03-04, 2007. The delegation will have an opportunity to visit existing U.S. military facilities, with regards to the relocation of U.S. Marine Corps forces from Okinawa to Guam as agreed upon in the May 2006 U.S.-Japan Roadmap for Realignment Implementation. The delegation will receive briefings from the U.S. Pacific Command, Joint Guam Program Office, and the U.S. military leadership in Guam. They will also meet with the Governor of Guam and other local leaders in Guam.

The relocation of approximately 8,000 III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) personnel and their approximately 9,000 dependents from Okinawa to Guam is a key element of the May 2006 Alliance Transformation Roadmap. Combined with other force structure changes in the region, the move will ensure the maintenance of alliance deterrent capabilities and significantly reduce the base hosting burden on Okinawa. The project involves significant financial contributions from both the United States and Japan. The United States Government is fully committed to ensuring full accountability and transparency in the process of implementing this historic agreement. In this context, we welcome the opportunity to provide Japan's legislative leadership with the opportunity to see first hand the progress the two sides are making towards achieving our shared commitments under the United States-Japan Security Consultative Committee.