January 26, 2023
Ministry of Defense
Mr. Kimura, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Defense, visited Guam from Tuesday, January 24 to Thursday, January 26, 2023. An outline of his visit is as follows.
1. Attendance at the Memorial Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, site-tour, meeting, etc. on Guam
(1) On Wednesday, January 25, Mr. Kimura, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Defense, attended the ribbon cutting ceremony of the monument constructed in the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz where the remains of the CHamorus (indigenous people of Guam) are buried, and made a speech. In his speech, Mr. Kimura stated that the monument was an outcome of the vigorous and collaborated work done by the people concerned who have respected the culture and history of Guam and paid consideration to the environment and historical preservation throughout the Guam relocation project, and once again expressed his respect to the ancestors of Guam.
(2) On the same day, Mr. Kimura visited the construction sites of the MCB Camp Blaz, etc. on Guam and confirmed that the relocation project was making tangible progress under close cooperation between Japan and the United States.
(3) On the same day, Mr. Kimura paid a visit to the South Pacific Memorial Park and offered his sincere condolences to the spirits of the war dead.
(4) On the same day, Mr. Kimura exchanged views with Japanese businesspeople regarding the recent economic situation on Guam, and asked for continued and steady implementation of the construction work, etc. for the relocation project.
(5) On the same day, Mr. Kimura paid a courtesy call on the Governor of Guam. During the call, he once again expressed his appreciation for the Government of Guam's long-standing understanding and cooperation regarding the relocation project and for its support on Japan Self-Defense Force’s training on the island, and asked for continued cooperation.
(6) On the same day, Mr. Kimura was invited to the Fiesta hosted by the Governor of Guam and had a friendly conversation with the Governor of Guam and U.S. military officials.
2. Attendance at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz Reactivation and Naming Ceremony
(1) On Thursday, January 26, Mr. Kimura, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Defense, attended the MCB Camp Blaz Reactivation and Naming Ceremony* held at Asan Beach, Guam (War In the Pacific, National Historical Park Guam) and gave a speech. In his speech, he stated that the Japanese and U.S. governments are working together for the peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region, and that the relocation of U.S. Marine Corps personnel from Okinawa to Guam, beginning in 2024, is an important initiative that will strengthen the deterrence of the Japan-U.S. Alliance in the region and mitigate the impact on Okinawa. He also stated that, with financial support from the Government of Japan, the headquarters buildings that support the Marine Corps operations, barracks and clinics that ensure the quality of life of the Marines, and other facilities have been developed mainly in Camp Blaz, and that the construction of these facilities is making steady progress under close cooperation between Japan and the United States.
* The Marine Barracks Guam, which was deactivated in 1992, reactivated as MCB Camp Blaz.
(2) On the same day, Mr. Kimura participated in the reception held after the ceremony and had a friendly conversation with the U.S. officials and others.