The United States and Japan announced a plan to transfer 9,000 Marines to Guam and other Asia-Pacific sites in order to lessen the U.S. presence on the island of Okinawa. The move is key in repairing relations with the U.S.’s Japanese allies.

U.S. and Japanese officials have been working to find a new location for the Futenma air base, which is located in a crowded part of Okinawa. Under the agreement, 5,000 troops will relocate to Guam while the rest will be dispersed between locations such as Hawaii and Australia.

“This is really a key component of our strategic rebalancing toward the Asia-Pacific region,” a senior State Department official told MSNBC. “One of the key aspects of that is strengthening partnerships with regional allies. And, of course, Japan is a very important alliance partner.”


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