U.S. military presence in Japan benefits both nations: Abe
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe indicated Monday that Japan’s burden of costs in hosting U.S. military bases is at an adequate level as the troops’ presence benefits both countries.
“Both Japan and the United States benefit from the role played by the U.S. military stationed (in Japan),” Abe told a Diet committee.
President-elect Donald Trump repeatedly called on Japan and other U.S. allies during his presidential campaign to pay more to host U.S. forces in their countries.
There should be an “appropriate sharing between the United States and Japan” of costs to station U.S. troops in Japan, the prime minister said.
The U.S. military in Japan “does not just protect Japan but plays an important role in preserving peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region as a whole. It is the centerpiece of the United States’ forward deployment strategy, and protects various U.S. interests,” Abe said.
The Japanese government pays nearly 200 billion yen ($1.9 billion) in so-called host-nation support every year. It covers various expenses such as the salaries of civilian workers and costs for utilities at the U.S. military facilities.