December 13, 2011
The total sum paid by Japan for U.S. military bases in Japan reaches 696.7 billion yen in the FY2011, including the 53.2 billion yen allocated for a part of the U.S. Marines in Okinawa to move to Guam.
The amount remains at approximately the same level as the previous fiscal year of 714.6 billion yen. Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Akamine Seiken ascertained this in a report the Foreign Ministry submitted to him upon his request.
Over the past 5 years, the United States reduced the number of its bases around the world by 212, but firmly maintains its major bases in Japan. The Japanese government’s huge financial subsidy to the U.S. military is hampering the public moves to have these bases removed from Japan.
Under the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), Japan is supposed to pay 377.8 billion yen, which amounts to about 54.2% of the 696.7 billion yen. The rest is in the so-called “sympathy” budget with which Japan has constructed U.S. runways, U.S. piers, U.S. personnel housing units, and even U.S. amusement facilities.
The Democratic Party of Japan and the Liberal Democratic and Komei parties in late March forcibly obtained Diet approval to increase the “sympathy” subsidy to a one-trillion yen scale in the next 5 years. They, however, turned their back on increasing support for 3.11 disaster victims.
A U.S. commander in Japan describes Japan as “the most generous ally”.
The U.S. government spends about 5.3 billion dollars or about 413.4 billion yen to maintain its bases in Japan. The fiscal year starts in different months in Japan and the United States, so a simple calculation is difficult. However, the absurdity is obvious because Japan pays 696.7 billion yen for the U.S. bases to be stationed in Japan. Is there any other U.S. ally in the world like this?
The U.S. military facilities in Japan alone have assets worth about 48.5 billion dollars or 3.78 trillion yen. The top four asset providers in the world for the U.S. military are all in Japan: Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Yokosuka Naval Base in Kanagawa, Misawa AB in Aomori, and Yokota AB in Tokyo, followed by Ramstein AB in Germany, Diego Garcia Navy base on the British-held atoll in the central Indian Ocean, Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, and Camp Zukeran in Okinawa.
With the rise of China in mind, the U.S. Obama administration is employing a hegemonic strategy over the Asia-Pacific region, and the U.S. bases in Japan are essential to fully implement this strategy.
Japan continuing covering the cost of the U.S. military is threatening not only the Japanese people’s safe living environments but also the region’s peace and mutually beneficially partnerships.