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Breaking News: Pentagon orders withdrawal of 50% of Marines.

Old 10-29-05, 07:17 PM
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Breaking News: Pentagon orders withdrawal of 50% of Marines.

<B>Half of U.S. Marines to leave</B> Okinawa
<b>Withdrawal follows years of complaints</b> from local residents

Saturday, October 29, 2005; Posted: 7:44 p.m. EDT (23:44 GMT)

<B>WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Pentagon has yielded to demands from residents</B> on the Japanese island of Okinawa and committed to cut the number of U.S. Marines in the country by nearly half.

The announcement from the Pentagon came Saturday and stated that the United States and Japan had agreed to shift 7,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam during the next six years. There are 14,460 U.S. Marines in Japan, and almost all of them are stationed in Okinawa.

About 47,000 troops from all U.S. military branches are in Japan, and most of those also are in Okinawa.

Earlier in the week, Japan and the
<B>United States agreed to close the Marine Corps Air Station </B>Futenma in the crowded southern part of Okinawa and move its functions to Camp Schwab in the north, according to The Associated Press.

Local residents have held widespread protests periodically during the past decade in response to U.S. military personnel committing crimes.

Protests boiled over in 1995 after three American servicemen were found guilty of raping an Okinawan schoolgirl.

Since 1995, U.S. service members have been convicted at least five times on sexual assault charges. An airman was convicted of rape in 2002.

In July, Okinawa police in July charged another U.S. airman following the molestation of a 10-year-old girl in a parking lot. Sgt. Armando Valdez, 27, later pleaded guilty, Japan's Kyodo News Agency reported.

Saturday's announcement followed talks among U.S. <B>Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld</B>, U.S. Secretary of State <B>Condoleezza Rice</B>, Japanese Defense Minister Yoshinori Ono and Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura.

<B>Rumsfeld told a news conference Saturday that the United States</B> and Japan "<B>agreed to findings and recommendations to strengthen the alliance and reduce the impact of U.S. military on local communities.</B>"

Ono said the agreement represented a "transformation of the alliance" between the two countries that will provide it with "a fresh start and new energy."

Both sides affirmed plans for closer military cooperation, sharing intelligence, and
expanding training opportunities in deterring and defending against ballistic missile attacks. They also pledged to dissuade other nations from development and proliferation of ballistic missiles.
Okay, it's just the Marines in Japan, and they're going to Guam.

In truth, this article doesn't paint a very pretty picture of our guys there. Probably a good move to reduce the Marine presence. Imagine if these crimes were committed in Iraq right now.
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Old 10-29-05, 07:37 PM
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Wow! This is big in a small way news!
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Old 10-29-05, 11:19 PM
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my eyes hurt
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Old 10-29-05, 11:30 PM
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Definitely a good move. First Saudi Arabia and now Japan.

Did we close that base in Italy where our jets clipped a ski booth killing some people?
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Old 10-30-05, 12:58 AM
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We need to build up troops for an invasion of Iran.
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