Okinawa governor’s panel recommends reducing bases, dispersing US Marines throughout region

A Marine from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit takes part in a raid exercise in Kin, Okinawa, Feb. 9, 2020. MATTHEW BURKE/STARS AND STRIPES
A Marine from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit takes part in a raid exercise in Kin, Okinawa, Feb. 9, 2020. MATTHEW BURKE/STARS AND STRIPES

Okinawa governor’s panel recommends reducing bases, dispersing US Marines throughout region

by Matthew M. Burke and Hana Kusumoto
Stars and Stripes

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — A panel set up by Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki to study U.S. military posture in his prefecture recently recommended that the Japanese government speed up the process of reducing the number of U.S. bases there and disperse Marines throughout the region.

The panel, which includes five security and U.S.-Japan relations experts, was set up in May and presented its findings to Tamaki on Thursday, a prefectural spokesman said.

With China improving its missile capabilities in recent years, the Marines have acknowledged the risk in concentrating their forces in one place, the panel said. It recommended deploying Marines in smaller groups throughout Asia, including to Japan Self-Defense Forces bases on the main islands of Japan.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.623889

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