10/24/11 (AEIN) U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta arrived in Japan on Monday at a military base in Tokyo. He plans to hold talks with Japanese officials on the delayed relocation of a U.S. base on the island of Okinawa, Radio Japan reported on Monday.
Strong local opposition to the base relocation has forced its delay. Panetta sees the relocation as an "urgent issue" affecting the U.S. military. He also vowed on Monday to bolster the military's deployment in the Pacific, according to the Kyodo news agency.
The Defense Secretary visited Bali on Sunday and spoke with officials from Southeast Asian countries about the South China Sea dispute. The dispute involves claims to various small islands and portions of the South China Sea initiated by China and some of its neighbors.