Guam mulls going its own way

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HAGATNA, Guam (AFP) – Almost 70 years after US Marines freed Guam from Japanese forces during World War II, political leaders on the Pacific island are again seeking liberty -- this time from Washington.

The Marines who took Guam in a bloody 1944 battle reinstated the island as a "non-governing US territory", meaning its 180,000 population enjoys US citizenship but cannot vote in US presidential elections.

Now, with plans to increase the US military presence in Guam by moving in 8,000 troops from Japan's Okinawa, fears the native Chamorro population will be swamped by outsiders has given new impetus to calls for self-determination.

Governor Edward Calvo successfully campaigned on the issue in a January election and pursued it in his State of the Island address in March.

"I highly doubt the 1,744 Marines and soldiers who gave their lives in the Battle of Guam died so that the people they liberated could be colonised for eternity," he said....

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