Tokyo under pressure to foot infrastructure bill for expansion of Guam base

Mainichi Daily News
April 2, 2010

Japan is under mounting pressure to foot the expenses of building infrastructure necessary to expand U.S. bases on Guam to accommodate about 8,000 Marines to be relocated out of Okinawa Prefecture, as Washington has failed to shoulder the financial burden.

The Guam territorial government estimates that $3.9 billion, or approximately 370 billion yen, will be necessary to build an additional sewage treatment facility, power station and improve roads and bridges. The amount is eight times the annual budget of the island.

A high-ranking Guam government official expressed grave concern that the island could go broke, pointing out that the federal government has stopped short of pledging to foot the costs. He then asked if Tokyo will shoulder the financial burden.

Military bases cover 30 percent of the land area of Guam, with Andersen Air Force Base situated in its north and Apra Harbor Navy Base on its west coast.

Furthermore, a total of 17 servicemen from the island have died in the war in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001, and in a Feb. 15 address Guam Gov. Felix Perez Camacho emphasized that Guam dedicated more lives and land per resident to war than any other state or territory in the United States.

Angered by a federal government that is trying to force the islanders to make further sacrifices, the Guam legislature adopted a resolution on Feb. 11, demanding that the plan to expand bases in Guam be revised, and in his Feb. 15 address Gov. Camacho insisted that the expansion of U.S. bases in Guam be delayed beyond 2014. …