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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Guam: U.S. Defense Deployments

Shirley A. Kan
Specialist in Asian Security Affairs

Larry A. Niksch
Specialist in Asian Affairs

Since 2000, the U.S. military has been building up forward-deployed forces on the U.S. territory of Guam to increase deterrence and power projection for possible responses to crises and disasters, counter-terrorism, and contingencies in support of South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, or elsewhere in Asia. The defense buildup on Guam has been moderate. Nonetheless, China has concerns about the defense buildup, suspecting it to be directed against China. Guam's role has increased with plans to withdraw some U.S. forces from Japan and South Korea. 

In 2006, the United States and Japan agreed on a "Roadmap" to strengthen their alliance, including a buildup on Guam to cost $10.3 billion, with Japan contributing 60%. The goals are to start the related construction on Guam by 2010 and to complete relocation of 8,000 marines and their 9,000 dependents from Okinawa to Guam by 2014. 

On February 17, 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Tokyo and signed the bilateral "Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Japan Concerning the Implementation of the Relocation of the III Marine Expeditionary Force Personnel and Their Dependents From Okinawa to Guam" that reaffirmed the "Roadmap" of May 1, 2006. The two governments agreed that of the estimated $10.27 billion cost of the facilities and infrastructure development for the relocation, Japan will provide $6.09 billion, including up to $2.8 billion in direct cash contributions (in FY2008 dollars). The United States committed to fund $3.18 billion plus about $1 billion for a road. 

However, on September 16, 2009, Yukio Hatoyama of the Democratic Party of Japan became Prime Minister. This political change raised a question about whether Japan would seek to renegotiate the agreement, even while the United States seeks its implementation. This dispute has implications for the relocation of marines from Okinawa to Guam. In a meeting in Honolulu on January 12, 2010, with Secretary of State Clinton, Japan's Foreign Minister conveyed Hatoyama's promise to decide by May on the location of Okinawa's Futenma Replacement Facility for the U.S. Marine Corps, on which depends the relocation of marines to Guam. 

The National Defense Authorization Act for FY2010 (H.R. 2647, enacted as P.L. 111-84 on October 28, 2009) authorized the first substantial incremental funding for the relocation of marines from Okinawa to Guam, but conditioned upon the Defense Department's submission to Congress of a Guam Master Plan. Among a number of provisions related to Guam in the legislation and conference report, Congress designated the Deputy Secretary of Defense to lead a Guam Executive Council and coordinate interagency efforts related to Guam. Congress also required a report on training, readiness, and movement requirements for Marine Forces Pacific, with a sense of Congress that expansion of Marine Corps training should not impact the implementation of the U.S.-Japan agreement on relocation from Okinawa to Guam. 

Updated as warranted, this CRS Report discusses major developments and policy issues. On appropriations related to military construction on Guam, see CRS Report R40731, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies: FY2010 Appropriations

Date of Report: January 19, 2010
Number of Pages: 11
Order Number: RS22570
Price: $29.95

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