“The United States is committed to Guam's role as a strategic hub, and to that end a U.S. Marine Corps presence in Guam remains an essential part of our Pacific strategy.
“In fulfilling our regional commitments, we will continue to consult and coordinate with our allies and partners and stakeholders within the U.S. government - including Congress - to address concerns, while ensuring our forward presence in the region is geographically distributed, operationally resilient, and politically sustainable.
“Within this context, we welcome the Government of Japan’s assurances that it is preparing to move forward with the steps necessary for the Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF), specifically filing the necessary environmental impact statement by the end of the year. Progress on the FRF plan is necessary to build confidence about the viability of our realignment efforts.
“We look forward to working with Congress on the critical elements to the realignment of our forces in Japan and Guam, which will result in a reduced number of Marines in Okinawa and a consolidation of our bases in Okinawa, both of which will lessen the impact in Okinawa. U.S forces in Japan and Guam are also vital to our efforts to maintain a strong forward-deployed presence in the Pacific region.”