Today in Tokyo, Japan, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Japan Minister of Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida, and Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera signed the Protocol Amending the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Japan Concerning the Implementation of the Relocation of III Marine Expeditionary Force Personnel and Their Dependents from Okinawa to Guam.
The “Guam International Agreement” (GIA) was signed in 2009, implementing a key aspect of the 2006 realignment roadmap by providing a framework for reducing the footprint of the U.S. military presence in Okinawa, while still maintaining operational capability and a credible deterrent. The planned relocation, which is due to begin in the early 2020s, is an essential element of a strategic realignment to achieve a geographically distributed, operationally resilient, and politically sustainable military presence in Japan.
In April 2012, the United States and Japan decided to adjust the terms of the 2006 realignment roadmap by delinking the relocation from progress on the Futenma Replacement Facility and reducing the number of Marines relocating to Guam from approximately 8,000 (with significant numbers of family members) to approximately 5,000 (mostly rotational/without family members), while maintaining the overall reduction in the U.S. Marine Corps presence on Okinawa through additional relocations to Hawaii and rotations to Australia. The Protocol amending the GIA reflects these changes. Additional changes include: