US, Japan reaffirm Marines realignment plan; Leon Guerrero says Guam must have stronger voice in def

U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper and Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono reaffirmed their commitment to the realignment plan to move U.S. forces from Okinawa to Guam and other initiatives, including construction of the Futenma Replacement Facility.

Esper hosted Kono in Guam, where they reaffirmed the strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance and discussed ways to deepen and expand bilateral defense cooperation.

Esper also met with Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, who asked that Guam be given a stronger representation in military planning that involves Guam.

“As the tip of the spear and first line of defense in the Pacific Region, Guam must have a stronger voice in military discussions,” Leon Guerrero said.

The governor expressed the need for Guam to have an accessible and affordable labor force, noting most Guam projects, inside or outside the fence, are military related. She requested for support to allow for the use of H2B workers from the Philippines for all projects on the island.