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The political games being played in Washington and Tokyo regarding whether the U.S. will fund the transfer of Okinawa-based U.S. Marines to Guam are of no consequence, experts say, because the 2006 plan to relocate the Futenma airbase to Henoko in northern Okinawa Island, which the Guam transfer depends upon, is all but dead.

The U.S. Congress decided earlier this week to cut $150 million from the fiscal 2012 budget that was earmarked for the planned transfer of 8,000 marines and roughly an equal number of their dependents to Guam by 2014, following the construction of a replacement base for Futenma at Henoko. But Congress’ decision is yet another nail in the coffin of the Futenma plan, experts say.

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