The Japanese government has agreed to pay for more than a third of the costs involved in moving about 5,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam.
The State Department announced Thursday that Japan will pay $3.1 billion to fund facilities and infrastructure in Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The U.S. has projected that final bill to move 5,000 Marines from Okinawa, Japan, to Guam to cost $8.6 billion.
That means Japan will fund about 36 percent of the costs.
The timeline to move all those Marines to Guam is still being worked out. Lt. Gen. Terry Robling, the commander of Marine Corps Forces Pacific, said figuring out how best to do that takes planning and time, he said.
“Continuing progress on Guam is contingent on the results of the Guam Relocation Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement,” Robling said. “This Record of Decision for Guam is expected in February 2015.”
The Marine Corps is slated to start construction of a Battle Staff Training Facility on Guam by 2019.
Robling said his command is excited about developments on Guam because they will provide MARFORPAC with a place to host multilateral training on U.S. soil, which is important to further build relationships with other countries. The Corps is also assessing how best to move Marines from Okinawa to Hawaii, he said. Moving an additional 2,700 Marines there will bring the number up to 8,800.
You can read more about the Corps’ shift to the Pacific here.