by Nick Delgado
Guam - Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo expressed major frustration after recent numerous media reports that Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's Administration has delayed final decision on the Futenma replacement facility until May 2010.
In a news release Bordallo states, "I am disappointed by Prime Minister Hatoyama's delay in making a final decision about adhering to the agreed upon implementation plan which includes the development of a replacement facility for Marine aviation at Futenma airfield,"
Bordallo says that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone already signed the so-called Guam International Agreement in February of this year which allows for the relocation of Marines from Okinawa to Guam. "This agreement was reached after lengthy discussions and negotiations. There are difficult decisions that were reached in the agreement but they are the best options available that allow our alliance to remain strong."
Bordallo says what's important now is to see a commitment from the Japan government to fund the new airfield as well as the realignment of Marines. She also stands firm that moving forward with the implementation plan is critical to ensure that both the U.S. and Japan are ready to respond to current and emerging threats in the Asia-Pacific region.
The United States is waiting for the decision as it continues to push for Japan to stick to the 2006 Status of Forces Agreement, wherein the two countries agreed to move the Futenma air base to Henoko. The U.S. has also warned that if the Futenma relocation does not occur, neither will the relocation of Marines to Guam.