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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 April 14 - 20  > Japan paid about \ 800 bil. for stationing of US military in Japan last year
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2021 April 14 - 20 [POLITICS]

Japan paid about \ 800 bil. for stationing of US military in Japan last year

April 16, 2021

The Japanese government spent 797.6 billion yen in fiscal 2020 for expenses related to the stationing of U.S. forces in Japan, according to a calculation Akahata made based on Defense Ministry materials obtained by the Japanese Communist Party through information disclosure requests.

Akahata on April 16 reported that the amount provided was the second largest after a record-high in FY 2018, and that the Japanese government shoulders roughly about 800 billion yen every year for the U.S. military forces stationed in Japan.

Article 24 of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) stipulates the extent of financial burdens on Japan for the stationing of the U.S. military in Japan, specifically limiting Japan's burden only to land rents. Of the 797.6 billion yen, 393 billion yen was the amount that Japan had no obligation to bear under the SOFA. A breakdown of the 393 billion yen was: 199.3 billion yen in the so-called "sympathy budget"; 179.9 billion yen in U.S. military realignment expenses; and 13.8 billion yen in the Japan-U.S. Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO)-related costs.

The sympathy budget of about 200 billion yen a year covers the wages of civilian employees working at U.S. bases in Japan, housing for U.S. personnel, amusement facilities, and utility charges at U.S. bases. In this budget, 150 billion yen is provided under the sympathy budget-related special agreement with the U.S. administration.

The governments of Japan and the United States will soon enter negotiations over the conclusion of a new special agreement. Reportedly, the U.S. side, with China in mind, will call for a stronger Japan-U.S. alliance and demand that Japan increase its financial support to the U.S. military.

Past related articles:
> There are no grounds for maintaining 'sympathy budget'-related special agreement with US [March 25, 2021]
> JCP Hatano demands termination of Japan-US special agreement regarding 'sympathy budget' [March 13, 2021]
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