Speaking at a Pentagon news conference Saturday, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and their Japanese counterparts announced a host of historic agreements between the two countries. Among the actions are movement of an estimated 7,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam over the next six years, more training opportunities for Japanese forces in the US, and an overall realignment of Japanese forces in Japan to make it easier to work with similar American forces. Also included in the agreements is the move of some USAF F-15 flight exercises from Kadena AB, Okinawa, to five Japan Air Self-Defense Forces bases outside the Japanese prefecture, the Japan Times reported.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.