Marines’ Move to Guam: Just the First Step

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Marine photo / Cpl. Jonathan G. Wright

Over on Time’s Global Spin blog, Krista Mahr explains that the shift of 9,000 Marines from Japan’s Okinawa to the U.S. territory of Guam only fixes half the problem:

…many islanders recognize Japan’s geopolitical vulnerability next to China, and are okay with the U.S. military presence on the island. But they really don’t like [the U.S. Marine airbase at] Futenma, smack in the middle of a densely populated neighborhood, making the takeoff and landing of planes both a constant source of noise pollution and a potential hazard. And they really don’t like the only alternative on the table, moving Futenma’s personnel to a cove on the north part of the island where fragile habitats might be disturbed. Both Washington and Tokyo are still insisting that is the only tenable option, so round and round it seems doomed to go.