Japan to pay more for hosting U.S. military forces


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Hosting US forces? That’s funny, I thought they invaded, occupied Japan in 1945 and didn’t leave.

Yes, and let's face it, non of us would be in Japan if they hadn't.

7 ( +25 / -18 )

They can watch it on a Sony television."

Surely in the event of WW3 Japan is going to be in the firing line along with any other country hosting the US military. I mean just hosting the American's makes you a target.

3 ( +14 / -11 )

When since Allies started paying to host another Allies. Sound more like a protection racket.

9 ( +18 / -9 )

I thought they invaded, occupied Japan in 1945 and didn’t leave.

You thought wrong. The Occupation ended in 1952, when the GHQ, which single-handedly reformed, liberalized and democratized the country, left according to a short timetable it set for itself.

-4 ( +17 / -21 )

Hosting US forces? That’s funny, I thought they invaded, occupied Japan in 1945 and didn’t leave.

Yes, and let's face it, non of us would be in Japan if they hadn't.

Sad Japan is still occupied and with few cards to okay.

-8 ( +12 / -20 )

There is a reason why we use to call it the "sympathy budget". US cannot demand anything because there is no law that say we even have to pay 1 cent. The agreement we sign long ago was that we allow them to live rent and tax free on the lands in order to allow their navy bases a entree point into Asia. But now we even shoulder the cost of building them the facilities and maintenance cost.

And what exactly did this whole thing gotten us? We now are distancing the Okinawa prefecture residents and making them feel being abandon. And stationing US troops did nothing but force us to stand with them to sanction many of the US enemies and making it impossible to enter a trade relationship with Russia. At least the jsdf soldiers are useful during natural disasters and other rescue missions.

2 ( +13 / -11 )

The Japanese government was install by the CIA, who choose rightwing LDP to power Google LDP CIA

1 ( +10 / -9 )

If the US forces absolutely have to be here, they should pay rent for the space they use - including their golf courses and other amenities. Why is it that no Japanese politician has the cohones to stand up to these gangsters?

-4 ( +14 / -18 )

They can watch it on a Sony television."

Won't Japan be attacked first if there are still bases here

5 ( +11 / -6 )

When since Allies started paying to host another Allies. Sound more like a protection racket.

Since SOFA was a thing. Just because you were oblivious doesn't make it a new thing.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

What a caricature! The composition of the picture is this. U.S. troops stationed in Japan, according to the U.S. logic, are guests and Japan a host.

The guests play it on their own way in the host's compound, occupying so large swaths of land and at the same time demanding they be treated more profusely.

Such an alliance won't last long.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

America won the war against Japan and since Japan did cause a lot of strife back in the day, Japan has no choice but to pay up for their military mistakes against other countries like Korea and China. The price of war.

-7 ( +11 / -18 )

So many billions lost that could be spent to help families, elderly people etc...again Japan is the pet of the U.S.

-8 ( +9 / -17 )

The cost to keep U.S. forces in Japan was $33.5 billion from 2016-2019, of which the U.S. paid $20.9 billion and Japan paid $12.6 billion, the U.S. Government Accounting Office found. Since so many Japanese want the U.S. gone the U.S. could save that $20.9 Billion and just let a Carrier Task Force take the place of the U.S. bases. No where near the same level of protection but other than China, Russia and North Korea what does Japan have to worry about

0 ( +8 / -8 )

The US military presence in Japan is the only thing stopping Japan from becoming a Chinese state. They are not paying to host the US military. They are paying for their protection.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

Small price to pay for freedom and democracy.

If the US military were not risking their lives 24/7 to protect Japanese people, Japan would be under constant threat by her many enemy neighbors.

2 ( +14 / -12 )

In the old days, they called this "a tribute".

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Japan's brutal and scorched-earth colonization of China and Korea led to today's geopolitical threats in the region. ie, the communists were able to take advantage of the destruction Japan wreaked on those societies to take over those countries. Japan today needs to pay a price for its legacy.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

Japan should develop its own military. That is the only sure way to survive. Train your own citizens to defend the motherland, not hire someone else to do it. You are rich and smart enough to do this. It has nothing to do with the Chinese or Americans, it is just simple logic.

1 ( +7 / -6 )


In 1978 the U.S.-Japan Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) regularized Japan sharing responsibility of USFJ stationing expenses.

At that time the Director-General Kanemaru Shin of the Japan Defense Agency expressed “We are sympathetic [to the United States]” and thus called it the “Sympathy Budget”.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Bad news.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Japan should develop its own military. That is the only sure way to survive. Train your own citizens to defend the motherland, not hire someone else to do it. You are rich and smart enough to do this. It has nothing to do with the Chinese or Americans, it is just simple logic.

Japan has a military already. It's called the Self Defense Force, per Japan's formerly non-aggression stance as outlined in it's Constitution.

But before one starts extolling the virtues of growing the current Japanese military force and capabilities, one might want to take a good hard look at the current crop of potential recruits.

In my past life, I trained with the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force on several occasions. While they were mainly well trained and fairly motivated, they are not, by any stretch of the imagination, samurai fighters of the long past. That was 30 years ago. The pussification of Nihon manhood over the past 3 decades has certainly taken a toll on the once impressive Bushido spirit of the majority of the population.

So, yeah, let's send all the US troops packing and man those guns with the current crop of small screen addicted, thin armed Mama's boys to fend off the invading Russian hordes from the north and the Chinese masses from the south and west.

Good luck with that.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

The big question here is, is Japan ready to take on China if they invade Taiwan by themselves? Having the USA in your corner in my humble opinion is insurance.

With Russia flexing their muscles in Ukraine and the Chinese Communist Party with Taiwan all you have to do is look at CCP’s actions in Hong Kong and see what their desires are. The CCP’s oppression needs to be stopped question is can it be and if it can how?

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Pay more?!?!?

We should help them to pack and go back to the US!

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

japan, the US colony....

0 ( +9 / -9 )

StevieJ: I didn’t give a opinion it was a comment stating “Just call it what it is” it certainly not hosting a guest.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

what kind of "negotiation" is that?

to be forced by occupant forces to pay more from japanese taxes?

why dont you use right words to describe exact position of Japan?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Philip JohnsonToday  08:54 am JST

The Japanese are getting a bargain!

Only until the Japanese public are prepared to see their own children wearing the uniform and prepared to pay 6% or 7% GDP into their own defense budget, then they can refuse to pay or even ask the US to leave.

Best comment I've seen on this topic.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

If the US forces absolutely have to be here, they should pay rent for the space they use - including their golf courses and other amenities. Why is it that no Japanese politician has the cohones to stand up to these gangsters?

Uh, pretty sure this happens already. The US pays rent for the land to the GOJ who then transfers it to the land owners. Not sure of the specifics but I'm fairly certain the US government pays rent for the land the bases sit on.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Sad Japan is still occupied and with few cards to okay.

The Government of Japan will do anything to keep the U.S. here. There is a really big angry red Dragon ready to eat the Country of Japan if the Americans leave.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Michael Machida (Today  08:16 am JST),

So, in your thinking, the money amounting to more than 201.7 billion yen ($1.79 billion) annually to support U.S. bases planted in Japan is nothing but a compensation for the war Japan started and lost as well as the damages it inflicted upon her neighbors over 76 years ago. In other words, retaliation against Japan is still going on relentlessly.

But, formally, the U.S. forces are supposed to be stationed here in accordance with a provision stipulated in the U.S.-initiated bilateral Security Treaty. If what you say is true, then that treaty can be said to be a shenanigans, a farce or gimmick to camouflage the hard reality that is occupation by victorious U.S. armed forces

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

US troops are not stationed here to protect Japan. There were originally stationed here to ensure that Japan would never gain do what it did to Asia (although we were just imitating European colonial powers). And didn't Trump say that Japan was getting all this protection for free?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The false notion that China will invade Japan is beyond foolish - there is absolutely no reason to invade Japan. geopolitically it is an absurdist notion.

As for the protectionist racket - a foreign occupation becomes permanent in a sovereign nation - the USA pays no 'rent' for the bases and in 70 years and has never thwarted a threat to Japan, since there has never been a threat.

The U.S. military has destroyed elements of the local ecology in Okinawa, has committed numerous crimes against the citizens of Okinawa, including murder and sexual assault. They present a greater danger than any feigned enemies. Just the other day a US military jet dropped a fuel tank in a residential area of Taiwan.

Japan is a client state of the USA and hence is coerced into various policies that benefit the USA and not Japan. Difficult to do otherwise, as the foreign occupier calls the tune.

As for Taiwan, so what, the bizarre rhetoric about it being seized by mainland China is spin and propaganda. If China deigned to seize Taiwan, they would have done so long ago, it is posturing and the USA and Taiwan inflame the rhetoric supposedly espoused by China's leadership. There is no actual benefit to China invading and taking over Taiwan. China's foreign policy is a long game and seizing Taiwan is not part of the plan for expanding its economic empire.

Terry Gou, a Taiwanese owns FOXCONN, which assembles and manufactures Apple and other computer corporations electronic devices in China - FOXCONN has numerous factories on the mainland. Gou and others of his ilk, who wield tremendous power are certainly in a position to deter any fabulist notion that Taiwan will be 'invaded' by China. The world economies are interlinked and China is a key element wedded to hundreds of major corporations and dependent sales of good produced in China and distributed throughout the world. That is the intent of China, not to invade an island of no real consequence.

Any upscale region in China is littered with high-end stores festooned with luxury goods from around the world. It is the wont of the wealthy and powerful to continue that climb and luxuriate in treasures from afar and not uproot that privilege and torpedo that lofty position by invading an inconsequential island. China is about economics. Those in power are not gong to endanger its place as the soon to be number one economic power. Military conquest is not part & parcel of that determination. An actual brouhaha with Taiwan and consequently other world powers is a zero sum undertaking. That is a game employed by the USA and certain parties in Japan, who are themselves militaristic - in the USA it is the pentagon (of power) and in Japan right-wing extremists.

There is absolutely no need for US troops in Japan. It is simply the construction of a forward base for U.S. military and foreign policy aims to contain any economic threat to US power from the Asian mainland. China is a rising economic power, the USA an economic power in decline - therein lies any 'tension' and it is fairly one-sided - simply examine the military adventurism of the USA, beginning with Vietnam and leading decades later to Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries.

The US military is in Japan to protect its own interest, he once quaint notion that the Pacific is an American lake.

Oh, U.S. occupation of Okinawa ended in 1972. Also, AI and supersonic weapons render U.S. bases in Japan moot. One strategy of the USA, is to increase its presence in Japan and in conjunction force the militarization of Japan. Hence the rhetoric about danger to Taiwan and other elements of hokum as a justification for increased military presence.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Japan has decided to accept a request by the United States .

Japan doesn't really have a choice to not accept request by the USA.

Its more likely Taiwan and Okinawa will become USA in the future.

Who pays to host allies anyway.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

What’s your problem here? We have three bigger players, U.S. , China, Russia, all equipped with the corresponding arsenal of atomic weapons, and all other countries are in any kind dependent or what you prefer to say occupied or a being colony and all such descriptions by all, two or one of the three. So it’s of course about alliances or the search for one. But I recommend a more pragmatic view on this. Just watch your daily receipts or things at home. It’s probably all a mix consisting of all those three global players, the burger and your computer OS from the U.S., most other things and smaller parts or clothes made in China and energy from Russia, a little bit simplified that’s valid for all countries. No choice or change, the world is distributed between them, so just abide to the natural , geographical or historically grown alliance and do the best out of it with pragmatism.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Hypothetically, what would the US forces do if Japan refused to pay more? If they threatened to leave a lot of people would be very happy with that arrangement, for fairly obvious reasons. I am not sure what else they could do while keeping up with the pretense of being benevolent allies as opposed to an occupying foreign government.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Japanese government people recognize the power that the US possesses. There’s a dance between domestic consumption of policy and a sense of realistic trade offs in the relationship between the two countries in the broader scope of trade. Why would they not want the US in their corner?

It’s preposterous that China or Russia would invade Japan. What would they get, all of the natural resources of Japan? Even the US recognized that Japan could not be colonized or controlled, but would be a better strategic partner.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@theAvenger at 8:52 am. Where did you find that information? (The English translation skips vital detail in the Japanese version.)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Been told all my life that only the Americans can protect Japan from China, Russia and N Koreans. Japan must learn to defend itself and then give America its walking papers. They are too expensive for the defense Japan receives.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

including their golf courses and other amenities. Why is it that no Japanese politician has the cohones to stand up to these gangsters?

Because the very same j politicians LOVE golfing on those very beautiful, well-manicured golf courses.

And they do so every, single, weekend.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

All the above comnents aside, few realize what a huge employer the US govt is to the japanese citizenry. Literally tens of thousands of japanese work on US bases all over japan.

So not only has japan been luckily receiving inexpensive high quality protection, they've also been pumping that money back into their economy by the japanese folks who work on the US bases.

And they still whine.


-1 ( +3 / -4 )

All at the cost of the US taxpayer.

You're welcome.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Pay up or shut up!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

attention privates! We are here in Japan to protect all foreign enemies. Hooah??? at ease privates. Continue on.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

United States must prove that is true ally of Japan.

How to do that ?

To give permission to Japan have nuclear weapons.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If Japan has US bases they are "occupied".

If Japan throws them out and builds up their own military/nukes, they are going back to Militarism.

So which TF is it? lol

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Nothing extraordinary about this. Occupied peoples have always had to pay more tribute as the occupying power gets weaker vis-a-vis rivals.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Bottom Dollar "sink or swim" China and NK are licking their chops for the day the US forces pull out of Japan. China will do the same thing they are doing now all over the world dividing and conquering with misinformation and deception only to invade when they feel the time is right.

2 ( +2 / -0 )


-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Should this not be the other way around?

Why should I pay to have an "Occupation Force" invade My Country?

The Americans should pay !00% of the bill.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

For more than 70 years, the American troops have never been called to defend the country we do not know what would happen if Japan was attacked or invaded.

Exactly. I agree.

USA defended and rescued S. Korea.

Both in 1945 from Japan.

Then in 1950s during the Korean War.

South Korea should be the Shield. Join Quad Alliance, defend Taiwan. South Korea is doing none of those and wants nothing to do with Russia or China.

What USA did for Japan in 1945 is destroy all of Japan in flames, plus use 2 Nuclear Weapons because why not, we have them already. Killed millions of Japanese citizens.

USA is the reason why our military is behind, with many restrictions. Shackles of WW2 still exist for Japan today, while Germany is free, normal country again, part of EU.

USA is the reason why our economy was affected so drastically after 1985 Plaza Accord. Then the constant supervision of Japanese currency like they do with China. How many Trillions lost for the past 30 years.

Go knock on S. Koreas door, they haven't paid for decades, while Japan was paying for 20 years longer then Korea for USA bases. SKorea is the country who needs to do more. Not Japan!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Surrounded by North Korea, China, and Russia, all heavily militarized countries with histories of unprovoked aggression, it is wise for Japan to take preventive countermeasures. It would be the height of folly not to do so. Whether Japan should pay more for the presence of the US military, I am not prepared to address that issue. In general, I think the guiding principle should be that each country pays about half of the cost for hosting the forces in Japan.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The neo-colonialism of the 21st century, some things do not cease to be what they have always been.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Bad news!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It really makes me furious. Do we have to pay more to support the occupier-turned guests who still occupy so large swaths of land as bases and use the land as if it were their own? How many accidents have they caused for the past 76 years? How much pollution, noise and environmental, have they caused?

Some of these bases are totally unnecessary, and illegal at that, contributing nothing to Japan's safety and security. The new air base now under construction, the so-called replacement for USMC Air Station Futenma, is the case in point.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Article 1 (a) of SOFA defines the members of U.S. armed forces who can be stationed in Japan as the "personnel on active duty belonging to the land, sea or air armed services of the U.S.A." The Japanese version of the same part says they are personnel belonging to the Army, Navy and Air Force. Where do the Marines belong here, to the Navy? Aren't the Marine Corps an independent of and different from the Navy as a service?

Article 24 stipulates the U.S. will bear all expenditures necessary to maintain its forces in Japan.  So, on what legal basis does Japan have to pay more than 201.7 billion yen ($1.79 billion)  annually to maintain the U.S. forces in Japan, plus land rents, compensations for damages, construction of a new base, etc.?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pressed during a Dietary session to clarify the legal basis on why Japan has to bear the cost, then Director General of Defense Agency Shin Kanemaru, at a loss for a response, answered impromptu: "Out of sympathy (for a financially pinched U.S. government)". Since then what the U.S. side calls "host-nation support" the Japanese taxpayers have called a "sympathy budget".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Fact #1 China has never invaded Japan, but Japan has invaded China.

Fact #2 The only country in the world to have used nuclear bombs on another is the USA.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Fact # 1 is not entirely true. China under the Yuan dynasty tried to invade Japan twice but to no avail. Of course, you can say the Yuan were Mongolian, not Chinese.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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