Survey finds that US Marines are welcome in Australia’s Northern Territory

A recent survey suggests U.S. Marines are being welcomed with open arms by residents of Australia’s Northern Territory.

There’s been a steady build-up of Marines in Darwin, Australia, since 2012.

On May 1, with the Marines’ rotational force poised to reach its target of 2,500 troops, the Australian government released a report showing that Darwin leaders and residents have a generally positive view of the U.S. military presence.

Auditing firm KPMG’s “US Force Posture Initiatives (USFPI) Social and Economic Impact Study” involved a telephone survey of 408 locals and meetings with 27 key representatives from business, government and the community.

It shows 51% of people there have positive feelings about the U.S. troops with only 6% responding negatively.

That’s a contrast with Okinawa, Japan, for example, where criminal behavior periodically works against the U.S. cause, as was the case on April 13, when a U.S. sailor apparently fatally stabbed a Japanese woman and then killed himself, according to Japan’s Foreign Ministry.