Sunday, August 8, 2010
Shirley A. Kan
Specialist in Asian Security 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%. Primary goals were to start the related construction on Guam by 2010 and to complete relocation of about 8,000 marines from Okinawa to Guam by 2014. In Tokyo on February 17, 2009, the Secretary of State 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, in September 2009, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) became the ruling party. This political change raised uncertainty as Japan sought to re-negotiate the agreement, even while the United States sought its implementation. The dispute over the location on Okinawa of the Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF) to replace the Marine Corps Air Station Futenma raised implications for the relocation of marines from Okinawa to Guam. In January 2010, Japan promised to decide by May on the location of the FRF. Then, North Korea's attack on South Korea's naval ship (Cheonan) in March, and China's deployment of its Navy near Okinawa which confronted Japan's forces in April, catalyzed Japan to resolve the dispute in favor of deterrence. On May 28, the Secretaries of Defense and State and their counterparts in Japan issued a "2+2" Joint Statement, in which they reaffirmed commitment to implement the 2006 Roadmap and the 2009 Agreement. In July, the Navy issued the final Environmental Impact Statement on the buildup on Guam, while planning to start construction by the end of FY2010. The Navy estimated that Guam's population would increase by a total of 30,190, including 8,552 Marines.
The National Defense Authorization Act for FY2010 (enacted as P.L. 111-84 on October 28, 2009) authorized the first substantial incremental funding for the relocation of about 8,000 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. Congress authorized a total amount (including for Defense-wide, Army, Navy, and Air Force) of almost $733 million. 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: July 30, 2010
Number of Pages: 12
Order Number: RS22570
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Posted by Penny Hill Press, Inc. at Sunday, August 08, 2010