photo by kind courtesy of @atuktekt (*click the photo for details)





"Advance Policy Questions for Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, U.S. Navy, Nominee to be Commander, U.S. Pacific Command"


Q)How would you characterize the current U.S.-Japan security relationship?

(要約) 現在の日米関係をどのように思うか?

A)The U.S.-Japan relationship is the cornerstone of security in East Asia. Japan is a valued ally and anchor of democracy and prosperity in the region. Our alliance has held fast through the turbulence of the post-Cold War, political turnover in Japan, and at times contentious trade disputes, and now stands poised as a truly global alliance. The United States and Japan are in the middle of a complicated realignment process that is part of a larger Alliance Transformation agenda that also includes a review of roles, missions, and capabilities to strengthen and ensure the relevance, capability, and cohesiveness of the alliance for the next several decades. In terms of our military-to-military relationship, the shared experience of U.S. and Japanese forces, working should-to-shoulder in response to the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis of last spring validated our continuing close cooperation and mutual respect.
Q)Currently, the 2006 Roadmap Agreement between the United States and Japan links the closure of the Futenma Marine Corps Air Station on Okinawa and the movement of U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam to the plan to build a Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF) at Camp Schwab on Okinawa. The plan to build the FRF has run into difficulties and, as a result, the closure of Futenma and the movement of Marines remain uncertain.

What is your opinion of the prospects for the successful construction of the Futenma Replacement Facility at Camp Schwab on Okinawa?

A)I believe that the Government of Japan (GOJ), like the U.S. Government, remains committed to the principles of the 2006 Realignment Roadmap, and although both governments have acknowledged that the Futenma Replacement Facility will not be constructed by 2014, as originally planned, there appears to be incremental but positive movement towards the construction of a replacement facility at Camp Schwab. The GOJ submission of the environmental impact statement to the prefectural government of Okinawa in December 2011 was a necessary and politically significant step forward. The U.S. Government is committed to working with the GOJ in taking the next step prior to the start of construction, securing the Governor's approval for the landfill permit.(「代替施設建設に必要な沖縄県知事の埋め立て許可を得るため、引き続き日本政府と共に必要な措置を取っていく」(時事訳))

Q)Is the cost-sharing arrangement between the United States and Japan to pay for the relocation of U.S. forces from Okinawa to Guam and to cover the costs associated with the continued presence of U.S. forces in Japan equitable and appropriate? Why or why not?

A)I believe the cost-sharing arrangements with the Government of Japan (GOJ) to be among the best we have(「現時点では最善のものだ」(日経訳)). Under the terms of the 2006 Realignment Roadmap and the 2009 Guam International Agreement, Japan committed to providing up to $6.09B (in FY08 dollars) for the relocation of Marines to Guam. For the GOJ this was an unprecedented step, funding the construction of facilities for the use of U.S. forces on U.S. sovereign territory(「米国の領土内での米軍基地建設の費用を拠出するのは日本政府にとって前例のないものだ」(日経訳). To date, the GOJ has provided $834M towards fulfillment of that commitment. For relocations within Japan, the GOJ is paying the lion’s share of the costs to develop new facilities. In April 2011, we entered into a new, five-year host nation support agreement with Japan that maintained the overall level of support we receive from Japan for labor and utilities, while for the first time putting a floor on the amount the GOJ provides for facilities construction.

Q)How, in your view, does building a new airfield on Okinawa, one that is opposed by a large segment of the population on Okinawa and could take 7 to 10 years to finish at a cost of at least $3.6 billion, serve to improve the U.S.-Japan relations in general and the U.S. military-Okinawa relations in particular?


A)The Government of Japan and the United States agreed to construct a Futenma Replacement Facility at Camp Schwab, in conjunction with reducing the number of U.S. forces on Okinawa and consolidating U.S. basing on the island. Futenma Replacement Facility will enable the closing of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma (MCAS Futenma), which is located in a very densely populated portion of Okinawa. At the same time, the plan preserves U.S. forces’ ability to meet our security commitments to Japan, in accordance with the Mutual Security Treaty.
(「現行計画の履行により、米軍は日米安保条約に基づく日本防衛の責務を果たせる」(時事訳)) Thus, when fully executed, this new force posture will improve

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