As recently as 2003 the U.S. was considering moving most of the 20,000 Marines on Okinawa to new bases that would be established in Australia; increasing the presence of U.S. troops in Singapore and Malaysia; and seeking agreements to base Navy ships in Vietnamese waters and ground troops in the Philippines.
As of 2006, some 8,000 U.S. Marines were being removed from the island and being relocated to Guam. In November 2008, U.S. Pacific Command Commander Admiral Timothy Keating stated that the move to Guam would probably not be completed before 2015.
Japan's former foreign minister Katsuya Okada said he wanted to review the deployment of U.S. troops in Japan to ease the burden on the people of Okinawa, where many U.S. bases are located, the Associated Press reported October 7, 2009.
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