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US Asks Japan to Bear Huge Relocation Cost

The United States has asked Japan to bankroll the relocation of US troops in the Okinawa prefecture, which may cost as much as over 3 billion US dollars, the Yomiuri Shimbun daily reported Thursday.

Under an interim report reached by the two countries last week on the realignment of US forces in Japan, the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force's headquarters in the prefecture will be moved to Guam.
The total includes the cost for building new facilities in Guam, the report said.

Japan has promised to try to accommodate the US request, and the two governments will continue negotiations to determine the exact amount of Japan's financial support, the daily said.

Also, the two sides have basically agreed to complete the relocation within six years after the conclusion of the final report expected for March, the newspaper said.

The allies reached a last-minute agreement last week on the relocation of a US air base in the prefecture, enabling their foreign and defense chiefs to present the interim report last Saturday in Washington.

However, the report are intensely protested by the Okinawa government and civil groups who said the document fell short of their demand for an eased burden of hosting US troops.

(Xinhua News Agency November 3, 2005)

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