• Kyodo

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Japan and the United States have agreed to increase Tokyo’s contribution for hosting U.S. military forces to ¥1.05 trillion ($9.2 billion) over the five-year period from fiscal 2022, which starts in April, government sources said Monday.

The roughly 5% increase in so-called host nation support, equivalent to ¥211 billion per fiscal year, came in response to calls from the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden for the Japanese government to foot more of the costs, given the need for the U.S. forces to deal with China.

The two sides have agreed to reduce Tokyo’s financial contribution for utility costs, with the increased amount to be allocated to funding expenses such as maintenance of facilities used by both Japan’s Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. military as well as their joint exercises, the sources said.

The Japanese government is believed to have determined that a certain amount of increase was inevitable given the need to boost the long-standing security alliance, while the U.S. forces are mobilizing their most advanced hardware in the region to address China’s rapid military expansion.

The agreement will be signed during a meeting involving the two allies’ defense and foreign ministers, set to be held in the United States in January.

In the current fiscal year, which runs through March, support to cover expenses such as utilities and the wages of Japanese staff at U.S. military bases was budgeted at ¥201.7 billion.

Cost-sharing agreements between Japan and the United States are usually signed to cover five-year terms.

But for fiscal 2021, the two countries settled for a one-year extension of a five-year pact that expired in March 2021, as their talks were affected by the transition of presidential power in Washington from former U.S. President Donald Trump to Biden.

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