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HOME  > Past issues  > 2010 September 29 - October 5  > Japan bears \700 billion in costs for US military in Japan
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2010 September 29 - October 5 [US FORCES]

Japan bears \700 billion in costs for US military in Japan

September 29, 2010
Japan is shouldering 714.6 billion yen of the cost for U.S. forces activities in Japan, exceeding 700 billion yen for the first time.

Foreign Ministry documents show an increase of nearly 50 billion yen from the previous fiscal year in the U.S. military realignment expenses, including the costs to construct a U.S. Marines base in Guam.

The total amount Japan provides is covered by the so-called “sympathy budget”, expenditures for measures to deal with areas surrounding bases, land rents, subsidies to local municipalities hosting U.S. bases, funding for the realignment project of the U.S. forces in Japan, and Japan-U.S. Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO)-related expenditures.

However, the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) requires that Japan pay only rents, the costs needed in and around U.S. base sites, and the state subsidies to base-hosting municipalities, which is 377.7 billion yen or about 53 percent of the total amount now being spent.

Japan’s burden had been lightened under the SOFA agreement signed after the 1960 revision of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. In FY 1978, however, the government stretched its SOFA interpretation and began funding U.S. forces stationed in Japan with the “sympathy budget” as it was called later. In FY 1987, the government made a special supplemental accord to the SOFA to further increase the “sympathy budget”. The present accord will expire in March 2011 so negotiations are ongoing between the two countries in order to extend the accord.
- Akahata, September 29, 2010
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