The government estimates that it will need around 2 trillion yen over the next 10 years — roughly 200 billion yen a year on average — to meet costs associated with the realignment of U.S. military forces in Japan, excluding the cost of relocating U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam, sources said.
Washington estimates the forces relocation will cost around $10 billion, or 1.17 trillion yen, but Japan and the United States have not agreed on how much of this Tokyo should shoulder.
Japan is paying more than 600 billion yen each year for the stationing of U.S. forces in Japan, according to Defense Agency Vice Minister Takemasa Moriya. After the realignment, the annual bill is thought to be certain to top 800 billion yen for Japan, the sources said.
Given the high amount, Japan plans to call on the U.S. side in bilateral talks to reduce its share of the costs needed for relocating the marines to Guam, the sources said.
Moriya told a news conference Thursday: “Expenditures associated with the realignment and those for the Guam relocation will be added to the existing outlays. They must be sums that can win the understanding and cooperation of the people.”
According to the estimate, of the 2 trillion yen total, about 400 billion yen is for maintenance costs of facilities related to the relocation of assets from Futenma Air Station in Okinawa.
The total also includes disbursements to local governments that must accommodate U.S. forces, facilities and drills, the sources said.
Such disbursements require legislation, and the government is planning to introduce bills to the current Diet session after Japan and the U.S. agree on finalizing broad plans to realign the U.S. military presence.
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