Pentagon Press Secretary George Little provided the following statement:
“We welcome the Government of Japan's submission of the landfill permit request to the Okinawa Prefectural Government today.
“This is a key milestone that comes after many years of hard work between the United States and Japan. It marks a significant step toward realizing the vision of the 2006 Realignment Roadmap and toward achieving a sustainable U.S. military presence with less impact on the Okinawan people.
“In the April 2012 2+2 Joint Statement, the United States and Japan reconfirmed the view that the current Futenma Replacement Facility plan at Camp Schwab-Henoko Bay remains the only viable alternative to the continued use of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. This effort is critical to our ongoing rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region and our ability to maintain a well-distributed and politically sustainable force throughout Asia. Along with the relocation of Marines to Guam and elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, moving forward with the relocation of MCAS Futenma will reduce our footprint in the most populated part of Okinawa and enable the return of significant land south of Kadena Air Base while sustaining U.S. military capabilities vital to the peace and security of the region. We will be working with the Japanese government to jointly release these plans for land returns soon.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the Japanese government on these issues and to moving ahead with the relocation of Marines to Guam.”