Breaking: Japan, US agree to extend deal on military base payments
Washington and Tokyo have decided to extend an agreement on Japanese financial support for thousands of US troops stationed in the country.
According to reports, in a statement released on Wednesday, Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that the agreement, which had been due to expire next month, would be extended for a year.
The current five-year accord was set to end after March 2021, but will now run through March 2022.
The Kyodo news agency reported that both governments were expected to sign the agreement soon.
Former President Donald Trump of the United States had upped the pressure on Tokyo to quadruple its payments for US troops to eight billion dollars.
Trump had also asked South Korea for a similar price hike.
Japan and South Korea pay the United States billions of dollars to cover the cost of keeping US troops there, primarily under bilateral special measures agreements that are traditionally negotiated every five years.
In Japan, the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet is deployed as well as the Third Marine Expeditionary Force.
Japanese people in recent years have raised their voice of protest against the presence of US troops.
Multiple cases of misconduct by US forces, featuring several rape cases and murder of a 20-year-old woman in 2016, has led to a deeper anti-American sentiment among the Japanese.