TOKYO (AFP) - US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said Tuesday it was critical for Japan to press ahead with the relocation of a controversial air base on a southern island to ensure the regions security. In an effort to galvanise the stalled move amid public opposition, Japanese leaders pledged to issue an environmental impact report on shifting the Futenma Air Station from a residential area on Okinawa to a nearby coastal spot. The minister assured me... the government of Japans intention to move forward with steps necessary with the Futenma replacement facily, Panetta said during a joint press conference.