Onodera tells congressman Japan supports U.S. airstrikes on Iraq

Kyodo

Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee on Sunday that Tokyo supports the recent U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State militants in northern Iraq.

“Japan will continue to support the United States’ fight against terrorism,” Onodera was quoted by Japanese government officials as telling Howard McKeon, who is currently visiting Japan.

McKeon said he supported U.S. President Barack Obama’s authorization of the airstrike to bring stability to Iraq, the first such strike in the Middle East country since the U.S. military withdrawal in 2011.

Onodera also called on the U.S. to implement the budget required for the planned transfer of U.S. Marines in Okinawa to Guam, to ease the burden on the prefecture from hosting the bulk of U.S. forces in Japan.

The Japanese and U.S. governments agreed in 2006 to move around 9,000 Marines out of the prefecture and transfer some of them to Guam.