03:32 GMT19 January 2021
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    Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada on Friday inspected the US military bases located at the Pacific island of Guam ahead of the forthcoming transfer of thousands of US marines from the Japanese Okinawa.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Within the framework of an agreement between Washington and Tokyo, the United States are expected to relocate up to 5,000 marines currently deployed at Okinawa to the US Pacific territory by the early 2020s.

    During her visit, the minister inspected air force and naval bases at the island and the construction of facilities to accommodate US troops redeployed from Okinawa, the NHK broadcaster reported.

    According to the media outlet, Inada said that Japan and the United States would continue their efforts aimed at transfer of US troops from the Japanese territory.

    Okinawa occupies less than 1 percent of Japan's territory but hosts more than a half of the country's total US military presence, within the framework of the US-Japan security treaty signed in 1951. The US presence has been repeatedly criticized by local residents, due to a number of US military personnel crimes, as well as because of US aircraft crashes in the vicinity of their Okinawa airbases.

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