• By Pacific island Times News Staff

Japanese military official visits defense facilities on Guam


Rear Adm. Shoshana Chatfield, commander, Joint Region Marianas, left; Vice Admiral. Tatsuhiko Takashima, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Fleet Submarine Force commander, center; and Rear Adm. Jimmy Pitts, Commander, Submarine Group 7 meet at the JRM Headquarters in Asan April 8.

Photo by JRM

The U.S.-Japan alliance is critical to protecting peace in the Pacific region, Rear Adm. Shoshana Chatfield, commander of Joint Region Marianas said Monday, briefing a Japanese official on the progress of military buildup on Guam.

Chatfield received Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Vice Adm. Tatsuhiko Takashima, commander of Fleet Submarine Force, and Rear Adm. Jimmy Pitts, commander of Submarine Group 7 at the JRM headquarters in Asan.

"This visit to Joint Region Marianas by Vice Adm. Takashima demonstrates our continued partnership with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force," Chatfield said.

The U.S. troop realignment plan in the Asia-Pacific region involves the transfer of 5,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam, a plan that is projected to cost $8.6 billion. Japan covers $3.1 billion of the relocation cost.

"Our alliance is critical to our ability to safeguard the region and ensures we will continue to have a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Chatfield said.

Chatfield, along with other Navy and Marine Corps leadership, briefed Takashima on Department of Defense capabilities progress toward the Marine relocation under the Defense Policy Review Initiative on the island, and the strategic maritime importance of the region.

According to a press release from JRM, Chatfield also “discussed the collaborative efforts of partners in maintaining peace and stability in the region, and a mutual interest in a rules-based international order where all nations can develop together through free and fair economic activity.”

Takashima toured U.S. ships, facilities and sites on island including ship repair, quality-of-life facilities for submariners and partnership opportunities in the region.

"Our visit to Joint Region Marianas was very helpful in maintaining our alliance and gaining a better understanding of the United States' maritime capabilities for our nations," Takashima. said "The ability to keep an open discussion of our partnership activities and national defense objectives is vital to our entire region."

According to the Office of Inspector General’s January 2019 report covering last year’s construction update, Japan provided $521.4 million and earned $17.1 million in interest associated with revenues.

The IG report said the DoD obligated $302.9 million and expended $117.3 million, while other federal agencies obligated $2.8 million and expended $10.5 million in 2018.

The DoD identified 189 military construction projects and programs, totaling $107.5 million, with estimated completion costs of $1.1 billion. Other Federal agencies identified 39 projects and programs, totaling $10.5 million, with estimated completion costs of $68 million

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