11:57 GMT26 January 2020
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    TOKYO (Sputnik) - The United States plans to relocate around 5,000 marines from the Japanese Okinawa Islands to Guam, a US island territory in the Pacific Ocean, by the beginning of 2025, Japanese Kyodo news agency reported on Friday, citing US military sources.

    The relocation is expected to take around one year and a half, the outlet specified. For this purpose, a new US military base, called Camp Blaz, will be built near the Andersen base. Some of the servicemen withdrawn from Okinawa will be located at Camp Blaz on a regular basis, while others will be staying there on a rotary basis.

    US military bases occupy around 30 percent of Guam's territory. Guam, located in Micronesia, has a status of "unincorporated and organized territory of the United States," with locals having a limited right for self-government.

    Guam's media have reported that the cost of the relocation will exceed $8 billion, and warned that the process could result in the lack of workforce for civilian objects construction.

    While the Okinawa Prefecture accounts for less than 1 percent of the Japanese territory, 74 percent of all the US military facilities in Japan and over 50 percent of all the US servicemen staying in the country are deployed there.

    READ MORE: Japanese Foreign Ministry Protests Over US Serviceman Killing Woman in Okinawa

    Washington pledged in 2006 to relocate around 9,000 servicemen from Okinawa to Guam by 2014, in addition to 10,000 military already staying in Guam at that moment, but this plan has been reviewed.

    The United States said in 2017 it would relocate only 4,000 out of 19,000 US marines staying in Okinawa to Guam between 2024 and 2028.


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