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Japan defense minister coming to Guam

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - Japan's defense minister is scheduled to come to Guam next week to see various military installations for himself, as the country has yet to resolve a dispute over American military bases on Okinawa.  Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa is slated to meet with officials from the Joint Guam Program Office, the Navy and the Air Force, as well as the governor and other elected leaders.

KUAM News has learned that the defense minister is scheduled to tour Andersen Air Force Base, Naval Base Guam, Apra Harbor and Finegayan.  His visit comes in the midst of an ongoing dispute between Japan and the United States on the relocation of the Futenma air base.

While there have been suggestions by Japan to move the base off Okinawa, the United States isn't budging on what was agreed upon in a 2006 agreement between the two countries that also included the relocation of marines from Okinawa to Guam.  The U.S., though has frequently said that if the Futenma relocation does not occur, the buildup scheduled for Guam will not happen.

Defense Minister Kitazawa is scheduled to be on island on Wednesday.

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