US troops in Japan to stay

Wolfowitz however confirmed that the US was reconsidering how its forces were positioned in the region.


A news report in the “Los Angeles Times” on Thursday triggered off speculation that US Marines would be pulled out of Okinawa and based in Australia.  “This simply has no foundation,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a security conference in Singapore.


He said the US administration was in the process of taking a fundamental look at its military posture worldwide.


Troop realignment


The newspaper reported that the US was considering the possible removal of 15,000 of the 20,000 US Marines from Okinawa as part of a broad realignment of troops in Asia.


The US was considering increasing its military presence in Singapore and Malaysia, seeking agreements to base warships in Vietnam and ground troops in the Philippines, the news report said.