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Yokota Plan Surfaces: US Air Force and Japanese Self Defense Force officials formally signed a memorandum of understanding May 15 to start the shift of Japan’s Air Defense Headquarters to Yokota Air Base. US and Japanese officials announced the move in November 2005 as part of a sweeping alliance transformation and realignment plan that would also shift thousands of US marines from Japan to Okinawa. Working out the Yokota master plan for the relocation, which will involve construction of not only a headquarters building but also dormitories, a mess hall, and an operations group facility, took about a year to complete. According to a USAF release, construction should start later this year, with initial operational capability in 2011.