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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 March 2 - 8  > Japan may have to bear materials/equipment costs for US fighter jet training drills even in Alaska
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2022 March 2 - 8 [POLITICS]

Japan may have to bear materials/equipment costs for US fighter jet training drills even in Alaska

March 2 & 3, 2022
The House of Representatives at its plenary session on March 1 began discussing a "special agreement" which is the basis for Japan's so-called "sympathy budget" for the stationing of U.S. military troops at U.S. military bases and facilities in Japan. The government has budgeted more than 205 billion yen for fiscal 2022 under the special agreement. After Japan concluded the special agreement with the United States in 1987, the amount of budget allocated totals more than eight trillion yen.

Japanese Communist Party member of the Lower House Tamura Takaaki pointed out that Alaska has been newly added to relocation sites of U.S. flight training exercises in addition to the U.S. Kadena base (Okinawa Pref.), the U.S. Misawa base (Aomori Pref.), and the U.S. Iwakuni base (Yamaguchi Pref.).

Tamura also pointed out that Japan bears the costs to purchase materials and equipment used by the U.S. military in its training exercises, and stated, "It is only natural for the U.S. military to conduct its training drills on its homeland. It is impermissible for Japan to use the reduction of Okinawa's base burdens as an excuse to rationalize the increase in the financial burden for U.S. forces."

Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa in response said, "Adding Alaska to the relocation sites will help promote the alleviation of Okinawa's burdens."

Tamura noted that the government, when signing the special agreement, had explained the pact is concluded mainly to deal with U.S. budget deficits and would be only provisional, limited, and exceptional. However, Japan's accumulated debt exceeds 1,200 trillion yen, according to Tamura. He demanded, "The special agreement should be terminated."

Past related article:
> Japan will pay over 1 trillion yen over next 5 years to give ‘sympathetic’ financial support for US military in Japan [December 22, 2021]
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