US-Japan Force Realignment Deal Is Done

The US and Japan yesterday agreed to implementation details for the realignment of US and Japanese forces set out last fall. In a statement, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said, “Completion of these realignment initiatives is essential to strengthen the foundation of alliance transformation” and confirmed that US and Japanese officials were committed to the “timely and thorough implementation of the plan.” Key to the plan is movement of a large US Marine presence from the Japanese island of Okinawa—“to reduce the burden on local [Japanese] communities,” said Rice—to the US territorial island of Guam, home to Andersen Air Force Base.