Part of marine rapid-response unit to move

Kyodo

The United States plans to move a portion of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force, a rapid-response force, from Okinawa to Hawaii, Guam and northern Australia, according to a senior Foreign Ministry official.

The move is aimed at strengthening the marines’ forward deployment capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region while reducing the damage the force would sustain if it comes under attack.

Junichi Ihara, director general of the Foreign Ministry’s North American Affairs Bureau, disclosed the U.S. plan at a meeting of the Liberal Democratic Party.

The Marine Air-Ground Task Force comprises a command unit and ground, air and logistics combat elements.

The U.S. is reorganizing its forces since unveiling in January a new national defense strategy with a greater focus on Asia, apparently to counter China.