Secretary of Defense Gates
Minister of Defense Kitazawa
On May 28, 2010, the members of the United States-Japan Security Consultative Committee (SCC) reconfirmed that, in this 50th anniversary year of the signing of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, the U.S.-Japan Alliance remains indispensable not only to the defense of Japan, but also to the peace, security, and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region.Recent developments in the security environment of Northeast Asia reaffirmed the significance of the Alliance. In this regard, the United States reiterated its unwavering commitment to Japan's security. Japan reconfirmed its commitment to playing a positive role in contributing to the peace and stability of the region. Furthermore, the SCC members recognized that a robust forward presence of U.S. military forces in Japan, including in Okinawa, provides the deterrence and capabilities necessary for the defense of Japan and for the maintenance of regional stability. The SCC members committed to promote and deepen security cooperation in wide-ranging areas to enable the Alliance to adapt to the evolving challenges of the 21st century.
The Ministers reaffirmed the commitment to reduce the impact on local communities, including in Okinawa, thereby preserving a sustainable U.S. military presence in Japan. In this context, the SCC members expressed their shared commitments to relocate Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma and return the base to Japan as part of the Alliance transformation and realignment process.
The Ministers confirmed their commitment to implement steadily the realignment initiatives described in the May 1, 2006, SCC Document, "United States-Japan Roadmap for Realignment Implementation," as supplemented by this SCC Statement.
The Ministers reaffirmed that, as provided for in the Guam Agreement of February 17, 2009, the relocation of approximately 8,000 III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) personnel and their approximately 9,000 dependents from Okinawa to Guam is dependent on tangible progress toward the completion of the replacement facility. The relocation to Guam will realize the consolidation and return of most of the facilities south of Kadena.
Bearing this in mind, the two sides intend to verify and validate that this Futenma relocation plan appropriately considers factors such as safety, operational requirements, noise impact, environmental concerns, and effects on the local community.
Both sides confirmed the intention to locate the replacement facility at the Camp Schwab Henoko-saki area and adjacent waters, with the runway portion(s) of the facility to be 1,800 meters long, inclusive of overruns, exclusive of seawalls.
In order to achieve the earliest possible return of MCAS Futenma, the Ministers decided that a study by experts regarding the replacement facility's location, configuration and construction method would be completed promptly (in any event no later than the end of August, 2010), and that the verification and validation would be completed by the time of the next SCC.
Both sides confirmed the intention to locate, configure, and construct the replacement facility in such a manner as to ensure that environmental impact assessment procedures and construction of the replacement facility can be completed without significant delay.
The Ministers recognized the importance of responding to the concerns of the people of Okinawa that they bear a disproportionate burden related to the presence of U.S. forces, and also recognized that the more equitable distribution of shared alliance responsibilities is essential for sustainable development of the Alliance. Based on the aforementioned recognition, the Ministers directed that, as progress is made toward the replacement facility, concrete measures should be taken expeditiously in the following areas:
The two sides committed to expand the relocation of the U.S. forces activities, to include both bilateral and unilateral training, outside of Okinawa. In this regard, utilization of Tokunoshima will be considered, subject to development of appropriate facilities. Japan Self-Defense Forces (SDF) facilities and areas in mainland Japan may also be utilized. Both sides also committed to examine the relocation of training outside of Japan, such as to Guam.
In view of shared responsibilities on environmental stewardship, the Ministers instructed their staffs to discuss the potential for the United States and Japan to take a "Green Alliance" approach to our bases and the environment. U.S.-Japanese collaboration on a "Green Alliance" would consider ways to introduce renewable energy technology into U.S. bases in Japan and under development in Guam, including as a component of Host Nation Support. The Ministers instructed their staffs to consider promptly and seriously an agreement on the environment, including reasonable access to U.S. facilities and areas in cases of environmental incidents, and reasonable access to U.S. facilities and areas for environmental surveys prior to land returns.
Shared Use of Facilities
The two sides intend to study opportunities to expand the shared use of facilities between U.S. forces and the SDF, which would contribute to closer bilateral operational coordination, improved interoperability, and stronger relations with local communities.
The two sides decided on the partial lift of restrictions on the use of the "Hotel/Hotel training area" and committed to continue to consult on other measures.
The two sides confirmed that, in accordance with the Guam Agreement of February 17, 2009, the relocation of approximately 8,000 III MEF personnel and their approximately 9,000 dependents from Okinawa to Guam will be steadily implemented.The relocation to Guam is dependent on tangible progress made by the Government of Japan toward completion of the replacement facility. The U.S. side will examine the unit composition of III MEF personnel remaining on Okinawa in the context of overall theater security, including deterrence, while accounting for the concerns of local communities.
Facilitation of the Return of Facilities and Areas South of Kadena
The two sides confirmed that the return of facilities and areas south of Kadena will be steadily implemented in accordance with the Realignment Roadmap. In addition, the two sides decided that the "Industrial Corridor" of Camp Zukeran (Camp Foster) and a part of Makiminato Service Area (Camp Kinser) are priority areas for early return.
Noise Reduction at Kadena
The two sides affirmed their commitment to further noise reduction at Kadena through such measures as expansion of both bilateral and unilateral training outside of Okinawa, including improvements to the aviation training relocation program, and steady implementation of the Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO) Final Report.
Communication and Cooperation with Communities in Okinawa
The two sides affirmed their intention to intensify communication with communities in Okinawa on issues of concern related to the presence of U.S. forces. The two sides committed to explore cooperation in such areas as information technology initiatives, cultural exchanges, education programs and research partnerships.
As part of the effort to deepen security cooperation, the SCC members emphasized the importance of ensuring a shared understanding of the regional security environment and the role of the U.S.-Japan Alliance in advancing common strategic objectives. Toward this end, the SCC members committed to intensify the ongoing bilateral security dialogue. This security dialogue will address traditional security threats, as well as focus on new areas for cooperation.