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Guangming: Japan’s Cost for Supporting U.S. Bases Higher Than Its Military Budget

On July 3, 2011, Guangming Daily published an article on what it costs Japan to support U.S. military bases in Japan. The article reported that the United States has had military bases in Japan since the end of World War II. Currently there are 41,000 American troops stationed there. According to the treaties Japan has with the U.S., the U.S. is responsible for defending Japan and Japan is responsible for providing land and facilities at no charge. The article further described the items that Japan pays for: (1) handling the issues in areas surrounding the U.S. bases; (2) the rental cost of public and private land; (3) the cost of moving facilities and equipment; and (4) other costs such as compensating fishermen for the inconvenience caused by the military exercises. After 1978, Japan started paying the Japanese citizens who worked on the bases, as well as some repair and maintenance costs. The article calculated the total amount the Japanese government spent on the U.S. bases in 2009 and concluded that it was higher than the U.S. share and higher than Japan’s own military budget.

Source: Guangming Daily, July 3, 2011