Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Japan will fund a $17.9 million contract to Contack Watts Inc. to build a Waterfront Headquarters Building at Naval Base Guam, the U.S. Navy announced on Tuesday.
The contract will help pay for the infrastructure necessary to move U.S. Marines from Okinawa, Japan, to Guam, as previously determined.
"For the Marines to effectively execute amphibious operations, a fully capable waterfront facility and associated infrastructure are essential," Officer in Charge of Construction Marianas Commanding Officer Capt. Dan Turner said in a press release.
"The award of this contract marks yet another critical step forward in the Marine Corps relocation to Guam and it is another excellent example of the tremendous financial investment by our Government of Japan partners toward our shared national defense interests," Turner added.
The construction will take place at Apra Harbor, Guam, and is anticipated to be finished by April 2019.
The U.S. military presence on Okinawa has long been a point of controversy with islanders conducting large protests against it.
Much of Okinawa's limited real estate is occupied by U.S. military bases, and misconduct by U.S. service members has often offended the traditional conservative Okinawan culture.
The U.S. plans to move thousands of Marines from Okinawa to Guam to assuage local concerns, but much of the movement may not happen until 2024.
Guam is a U.S. territory and key strategic site for the U.S. military presence in the Western Pacific. The island has recently garnered more attention due to North Korean threats to target the island using ballistic missiles.