Japan and the U.S. settled on an unusual one-year agreement on Tokyo’s share of costs for hosting American troops Wednesday, in a move that will buy time for both sides amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The special agreement, reached after negotiations between the administrations of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and President Joe Biden, comes after years of reported backroom dealings between their predecessors that left the alliance strained over threats to withdraw U.S. troops if certain cost benchmarks were not met.

“As the security environment in the Indo-Pacific region becomes more severe, the Japan-U.S. alliance and American troops stationed in Japan are indispensable to our nation's defense and regional peace and stability,” Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said at a news conference announcing the deal.