US to withdraw 4,700 Marines from Japan
The United States is to shift 4,700 Marines from Okinawa to Guam without waiting for progress on controversial plans to relocate a US base on the Japanese island, it was expected to be announced yesterday.
The redeployment was originally planned to take place in tandem with the shuttering of the base at Futenma, a crowded urban area, and the opening of a new facility in a sparsely populated coastal zone.
But Washington has become increasingly frustrated by Japanese foot-dragging on the issue, which has dominated Okinawan public life for years.
A formal announcement that Washington will go ahead with the redeployment is expected later yesterday following talks in Washington between senior representatives from each government, two US officials told AFP.