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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 April 6 - 12  > Japan’s payment for stationing of US military in Japan last year hit record high of over 824 billion yen
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2022 April 6 - 12 [POLITICS]

Japan’s payment for stationing of US military in Japan last year hit record high of over 824 billion yen

April 10, 2022

The Japanese government in fiscal 2021 spent an all-time high of 824.2 billion yen in total for expenses related to the stationing of the U.S. military in Japan, according to materials which the Defense Ministry submitted to Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Akamine Seiken.

Under Article 24 of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), the United States is required to pay all the costs for the stationing of U.S. forces in Japan other than for land rent.

However, in addition to the so-called “sympathy budget” for U.S. Forces in Japan which started in 1978, Japan, in response to U.S. demands, began paying the costs related to the Japan-U.S. Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO) in 1997 and the expense of U.S. military realignment in 2006, though Japan has no obligation to make these payments under the SOFA.

In fiscal 2021, the government expenditure covering these three expense categories amounted to 420.5 billion yen, accounting for 50% of the total outlay of 824.2 billion yen for the U.S. military in Japan. Specifically, 201.7 billion yen was spent for the “sympathy budget”, 204.4 billion yen for U.S. military realignment expenses, and 14.4 billion yen for the SACO-related costs,

Prominent among these expenditures is the funding for the U.S. military realignment in Japan which includes the construction of a new U.S. base in Henoko in Okinawa’s Nago City. It is believed that Japan will bear more U.S. military realignment costs such as the cost of relocating U.S. field carrier landing practice (FCLP) exercises to Mageshima Island (Nishinoomote City, Kagoshima Prefecture).

In addition, the Japanese and U.S. governments in January signed an agreement which imposes on Japan the payment of more than one trillion yen for the “sympathy budget” for the next five fiscal years, up 108.6 billion yen from the 2016-2020 level.

Past related articles:
> 1 trillion yen in so-called 'sympathy budget' for USFJ approved in Japan's parliament [March 26, 2022]
> Japan paid about \ 800 bil. for stationing of US military in Japan last year [April 16, 2021]

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