U.s. Deputy Defense Chief Hails Progress On Okinawa Base Relocation

U.S. deputy defense chief hails progress on Okinawa base relocationU.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said Friday there are "signs of tangible progress" toward realizing the long-stalled relocation of a key U.S. base in Okinawa Prefecture after Japan started a seabed survey despite local protests.

"This is a major accomplishment that opens the way for us to make substantial progress in realignment of U.S. forces on Okinawa," Work told reporters after meeting with Japanese Senior Vice Defense Minister Ryota Takeda in Tokyo.

Takeda said both countries reaffirmed their "commitment" to the relocation plan for the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station. To ease the burden on Okinawa of hosting the bulk of U.S. military facilities and training, the two defense officials also reaffirmed plans to move some training exercises by MV-22 Ospreys out of the southwestern prefecture.