US, Japan reach a deal on payments for hosting American troops

In 2016, Japan and the United States struck a five-year agreement under which Tokyo will cover the expenses of local employees, utilities, and training relocation.

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(Photo credit NOEL CELIS/AFP/GettyImages)

The US and Japan have compromised on the expenses of continuing to host tens of thousands of American troops in Japan, a shield against China and a significant part of the Pentagon’s Indo-Pacific strategy.

The agreement, which will last from 2022 to 2026, will see Japan spend an average of 211 billion yen (S$2.46 billion) to house roughly 50,000 American troops and their families, a deployment that has grown problematic at times. 

In 2016, Japan and the United States struck a five-year agreement under which Tokyo will cover the expenses of local employees, utilities, and training relocation.

Although the US does not announce the expenses of sustaining its bases in Japan, Japan was expected to pay over 197 billion yen in 2019.

According to some military experts, keeping US troops in Japan is likely to be cheaper than bringing them home.

According to a statement published on Tuesday (Dec 21) by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Bilateral defense cooperation under Host Nation Support will contribute to the enhancement of readiness and resiliency of the Alliance, including by improving the interoperability of US forces and the Self-Defence Forces of Japan.

The US aimed at boosting fees for hosting American troops by up to fivefold during the Trump administration.

While then-President Donald Trump’s demands were primarily directed at South Korea, those discussions were considered to indicate the capacity to alter any future US-Japan agreement.

The US is obliged to defend Japan, which surrendered the power to conduct war after World War II by a 1951 security treaty negotiated by the US.

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