- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Washington and Tokyo finalized a $1.9 billion deal this week to cover the costs of the roughly 55,000 American troops stationed in Japan.

The deal extends the current U.S.-Japan arrangement for another year, through March 2022, according to Japan‘s Kyodo News. The next annual payment of about $1.9 billion is the same as past years, and the agreement seemingly ends a previous push by the U.S., under the leadership of former President Trump, to dramatically increase the figure.

“This shows the two countries’ strong commitment to the bond of the Japan-U.S. alliance and enhances the credibility of the alliance,” Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Wednesday.

The Biden administration still will have to hammer out a long-term deal with Japan before the extension expires in March 2022. The presence of American forces in the Pacific — including in Japan and in South Korea, among other places — is especially important given rising tensions between the U.S. and China.

In 2019, former President Trump reportedly asked Japan to increase its annual payment to $8 billion. That effort came amid Mr. Trump’s broader push to cajole allies into paying more to have U.S. troops stationed within their borders.



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