Micronesia in Review: Issues and Events, 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2008 GUAM

Kelly Marsh

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Abstract

Guam's Annual Liberation Day festivities in July 2007 marked the sixty-third anniversary of relief from occupying forces in World War II. However, a bill meant to compensate residents for the forced labor, torture, injury, and death that occurred during the Japanese occupation of the island made little progress. The Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act passed the House but remained stalled in the Senate ( PDN , 6 March, 8 June 2008). Meanwhile, debate continued about the massive buildup of US military forces, which involves an influx of equipment and personnel estimated to swell Guam's population by about 40, 000 over the next six years. The Government of Guam (GovGuam) consultant kpmg of Washington dc identified three billion dollars worth of projects necessary for the local government to prepare for the buildup. On the federal side, a draft master plan was released that designated the Finagayan area as the preferred site for the US Marine base, but dropped any reference to a previously promoted one-billion-dollar road. In the background of a rising military presence and resulting strains on infrastructure, the Guam Waterworks Authority objected to a 100 percent increase in the price the US Navy sells water from the Fena Reservoir to the island's local community. Concerns about the traffic and other potential burdens caused some to question the actual benefits versus costs for the Guam community ( PDN , 25 April 2008). Local leaders raised questions about the buildup and associated funding needs to both US Senate and House committees with jurisdiction over Guam. Concerns about the expanded military presence on Guam also reinvigorated the ongoing debate on island landownership, with calls for the return of federal property to ancestral landowners.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-124
Number of pages7
JournalContemporary Pacific
Volume21
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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