U.S. President Donald Trump salutes troops aboard the USS Wasp in Yokosuka, Japan, in May. Photo: REUTERS file
politics

Trump asked Tokyo for $8 bil to keep U.S. troops in Japan: Foreign Policy

134 Comments
By Sam Nussey

U.S. President Donald Trump has asked Japan to quadruple annual payments for U.S. forces stationed there to around $8 billion, Foreign Policy reported, part of Washington's efforts to press its allies to increase their defense spending.

The current agreement that covers the 54,000 U.S. troops stationed in Japan expires in March 2021.

The demand was made to Japanese officials during a trip to the region in July by John Bolton, at that time Trump's national security adviser, and Matt Pottinger, who was then the Asia director for the National Security Council, the U.S. global affairs magazine said, citing unidentified former U.S. officials.

A Japanese foreign ministry spokesman said the report was incorrect and no U.S.-Japan negotiations on a new agreement have taken place.

According to Kyodo news agency, Japanese officials told Bolton the increase is "unrealistic", saying Japan already pays a greater share of stationing costs than other allies.

A U.S. State Department spokesman said in an emailed statement: "The President has made clear that allies and partners should contribute more to their shared defense."

Negotiations to renew the agreement will start in the first half of next year, the spokesman said, adding that the U.S. commitment to Japan's defense was "unwavering".

Japan hosts the U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet, including the only permanently forward deployed carrier strike group, as well as the Third Marine Expeditionary Force.

In addition to defending Japan, those units use the archipelago as a base for operations in the wider Asia-Pacific region where U.S. military power acts as a counterbalance to China's growing influence.

Trump has also insisted Seoul shoulder more of the cost of the U.S. military presence in South Korea, where it serves as deterrence against North Korea, and has floated the idea of pulling U.S. troops from the peninsula.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

134 Comments
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Someday, U.S. Forces will withdraw from Japan. It might have come. Japan has to change its peace constitution and build up a full fledged military to defend the country by themselves. However, it may not be a good move for U.S. from their world strategic policy.

21 ( +33 / -12 )

Quadruple? What is my boy Donald inhaling?

The US of A: We're the world's first economy, and we'll do anything, to prevent that from changing. Trade wars with Japan (89) and China (19)? Ya bet.

Squeezing the heck out of a country economy-wise? You know it!

26 ( +33 / -7 )

Former Spec-ops soldier Moon has decided to drag the SMA negotiation out past Trump's first term, gambling that the Democratic president elect will be more reasonable.

What will Yesman Abe san do? Yes to $8 billion SMA demand? Or will he too drag out the negotiation?

-16 ( +8 / -24 )

Maybe it is time the Government of Japan reconsiders the role of US Government forward protection bases.

These bases primary role in not to protect Japan, or its people. These bases are to protect a US geopolitical presence. Primary to prevent a strategic tactical and strategic missile strike on the US mainland. Lets not be politically coy. Maybe time to walk away.

33 ( +40 / -7 )

@itsonlyrocknroll

Maybe it is time the Government of Japan reconsiders the role of US Government forward protection bases. These bases primary role in not to protect Japan, or its people. 

The US bases in Japan is what protects Japan from China and Korea's war of vengeance.

Both China and Korea wouldn't hesitate to settle their past grievances through war if they could.

-46 ( +11 / -57 )

@Samit, your comment is garbage. US bases don't protect Japan from China or Korea. They're an outdated form of world domination by a dying power.

What Japan should do, in negotiations that start next year, is tell the US to remove three-quarters of US military personnel and hardware, instead of kowtowing to the US demand for a quadrupling of the cost. Tit for tat.

That's how you negotiate with someone like Trump. Let him take them home - he likes to brag about doing that. Satisfy the man's ego, and get out from under his thumb (or butt, if he's sitting on your face).

38 ( +49 / -11 )

I did some math on what would probably be a "fair" number. Japan has 240,000 active military and their yearly military budget is around $50 billion. So the average cost per individual is roughly $210,000. Now take the 52,000 U.S. military in Japan and multiply each by $210,000..... you get around $10 Billion. U.S. Troops are paid more and cost more due to the equipment they're outfitted with.... so the per troop cost for those U.S. individuals should probably more like $300,000. That now puts it at $15 Billion. If Japan were to pay half that number $7.5 Billion. They would be getting the services of the U.S. Military at roughly a 50% discount and still cost less than their own troops. So the $8 Billion Trump is looking for.... is actually quite close to being a very fair number. Trump is looking at this from a perspective that the USA no longer needs to be in Japan.

9 ( +24 / -15 )

Even more support to PM Abe from me, abolish the peaceful constitution and rearm the country's forces.

12 ( +24 / -12 )

trumps M.O. Giddy mate, wanna do a round of golf with me, That will cost you 8 billion $$$

A black heart, evil intent, miss guided principles.

This is what trump does to respected & friendly allies.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

8 billion? China or Russia would do it for far less!

12 ( +23 / -11 )

That the US bases are to make sure that China and the Koreas do not seek revenge against Japan is what you sell to Japan but in reality it is a way to hold on to conquered territories. The mentality is we should get something from Japan for all our efforts in Asia.

It was packaged and sold as a nuclear deterrent. Japan bought it and are still buying it, only the prices are being raised.

To demand Japan pay 80 oku yen and hustling protection money from her is akin to crime organizations that force businesses to do the same.

7 ( +18 / -11 )

Samit Basu, Walk away would not be an politically an overnight event.

In the interim the Government of Japan would have to develop and full next generation Intermediate-Range Nuclear program. Also offshore second-strike capability enough totally obliterate your enemy completely. What could and I suggest would disappear over night is Japan peaceful loving constitution. To be replaced with a possible first strike option.

That that what you are advocating? Have you relatives in China? All they ever were, would be incinerated with 10 to 20 minutes. Think about it.

There are politicians within Abe San cabinet that have called for a more for forceful response to both North Korean and the Government intimidation and aggression.

The Seventh Fleet's Area of Responsibility/capability covers an area of more than 111 million square kilometres.

That included the South China Sea shipping trading routes vital to the US economy. How could US interests be protected if the US fleet were forced to leave there Yokosuka Headquarters? That is more than 60 ships and 240 aircraft alone.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

quercetum, Japan has no problem with China, because China never revenged, in fact forgave what Japan did for the sake of peace.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

If only Japan had oil, it would be for free !

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Forgive my grammar, I am deep into my early morning farmer market shopping at the same time.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

quercetum, Japan has no problem with China, because China never revenged, in fact forgave what Japan did for the sake of peace.

We’re in agreement but this isn’t what is being sold to Japan, fear.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

China and Russia would take over Japan's US bases for free ...

1 ( +5 / -4 )

HokkaidoboyToday  07:37 am JST

...rearm the country's forces.

They're armed to the teeth already.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

China has been known to whip up anti-Japanese sentiment amongst its uneducated underclass and will certainly do so again.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Foreign Affairs is a pretty weighty publication, so there is at least some truth behind their claim.

Japan has to change its peace constitution and build up a full fledged military to defend the country by themselves.

This maybe true but the promlem (as the very same Foreign Affairs pointed out a few years ago) is the demographic time bomb ticking away in Japan.

Basically, a modern technologically advanced military is made up of fit, well educated (in Japan's case) men between the ages of 18 and 40.

As this group shrinks (as it will) the demand for these people form all industries increases and ( theoretically ) wages rise.

Therefore japan will not be able to recruit enough troops to field a viable defence force as the surrounding powers grow stronger. If I read this assessment in Foreign Affairs, you can bet that the American, Japanese and Chinese defense planners also did.

gary

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Japan currently pays about ¥2 trillion/¥18.3 billion.

America has something like 883 oversea bases. The annual defense budget was about $800 billion the highest in the world. It was greatly increased by Trump. The cost of maintaining those bases is only a small part of the total budget.

Even if all 800 bases were shut down the savings would also be small. The troops and equipment would br shipped back. The troops would remain enlisted.

Yes, in the end, it’s all about dollars, Euros and Pounds.

If it's all about dollars then Trump since taking office has added $3 trillion to the national debt and over two term could take it above $30 trillion limit.

Part of the national debt increase was due to the Trump increasing the military budget to $956.5 billion, almost $1 trillion.

The cost of personnel at overseas bases $23 billion. Cost of travel $1.3 billion. Cost of maintenance $7.5 billion. Cost of construction $5 billion. Healthcare $6 billion. Training $1 billion.

Total cost $50 billion from a budget of $956.5 billion.

Most of the defense budget is spent inside America. The military employ 2% of the work force.

https://www.911tap.org/557-news-releases/768-2019-defense-budget-supports-883-overseas-bases-and-is-lethal-to-humanity

Shutting the overseas bases would produce very little savings.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Kick them out, make peace with Russia and China.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

@Samit Basu

Both China and Korea wouldn't hesitate to settle their past grievances through war if they could.

What year do you think this is? Even if all the US troops were gone from Japan and Korea, both China and Korea wouldn't go out and attack Japan. Economies for developed nations are too intertwined now and wars are incredibly costly. Ask America about the trillions spent on wars in the middle east. Ask the US economy how its stupid trade war is backfiring on itself. Ask the UK how its nationalist movement is backfiring on the UK economy. Why do you think China kept avoiding the use of military personnel in Hong Kong?

19 ( +20 / -1 )

BTW how much for the bribe?

now you know where your tax are going.

you people are financing the future war.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@zichi is right.

Only the DoD commands almost $600 billion for domestic operations. They use about $175 billion for the war in the middle east alone.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

This may be a blessing in disguise. Japan should have started rebuilding its own defense capabilities years ago to deter military aggression from unfriendly neighbors. But better late than never. It would be much cheaper to build its own military than to pay protection money to America.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

correction

Japan pays America $2 billion (¥270 billion). Now Trump wants $8 billion (¥870 billion)

Time to tell them to go home.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

I worked for the state department/department of defense. Was based out of Camp Zama and Atsugi. 100% of the infrastructure and maintenance of the bases are paid for by Japan. If I were Abe, I would pay the 8 billion then cease to fund and maintain the shared bases for the the American side of the bases. Budget balanced.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Bring the US troops home.

Let Japan deal with their own security needs. Deal with Chinese claims for islands, territorial waters, NK rocket launches, SK tantrums.

Japan should work with other regional democracies on a defense pack. I'm certain that will work out great.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

A Japanese foreign ministry spokesman said the report was incorrect and no U.S.-Japan negotiations on a new agreement have taken place.

According to Kyodo news agency, Japanese officials told Bolton the increase is "unrealistic", saying Japan already pays a greater share of stationing costs than other allies.

these two consecutive paragraphs totally contradict each other. One says negotiations never took place and the other states the the officials were complaining about it being unrealistic. Which one is it?

With the current tensions in Asia between Japan, the DPRK, China, SK and Russia, Japan can not afford to lose the US shield. Therefore, Japan has no choice than to pay up. The US military won’t pull out of Japan because it is their largest military base and foothold in Asia.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The United States and the English speaking world is 'not a dying power'.. They can absolutely defend themselves.

Japan needs to step up and defend itself, or pay for US protection.

How much is the life of your family's child worth? Those US soldiers are people with lives and families like anyone else.

Trump is representing his country.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Donnie doing more of his Master Putin's to-do list - weaken our military alliances in the Pacific so Russia and China can expand their influence.

But this one won't work, even Repubs in Congress know how important our Alliances are to regional stability that they won't go along with this charade, even if it's true.

Note the GOJ have denied it - this may be just some more disinformation by Trump's alt-right, anti-globalist nuts to energize his base - with the mountain of evidence coming out of the impeachment inquiry, his buddy Stone going to jail, Perry giving out sweetheart oil deals, Parnas flipping on Rudy, they need something to cheer them up...

0 ( +4 / -4 )

$8 billion would be about one sixth of the total costs for 883 oversea bases costing about $50 billion out of a near $1 trillion defense budget some of which Trump diverted for his Mexican wall.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Keep Yokosuka and Kadena.

Close the other bases.

Reduce also the number of troops.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Japan is NOT at war now. It seems to me the half of US troops and heavy bases are no need there. Most of them are now for the important US government's interests, not protecting Japan. Why not the US military let JSDF give more roles of US military to protect their country Japan? JSDF have a lot of American advanced military weapons and will buy more in the future. Why do such so many US military troops have to station in Japan? The US is wasting its taxpayers money for so many US soldiers in Japan. Therefore the half of troops better go home but NOT all as long as there is the US and Japan peace treaty.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Let's see all the anti US troops are hard at it again. Funding compared to the waste that Japan does like the recent Shinto event that cost up to 2.3Billion is 1/4 of the bill already. In regards to the repeal or abolishment of the Japan Constitution it is not that simple as Japan has renounced WAR FOREVER. Now by definition and not going back billions of years, forever means forever. That's it end of story. As for the costs of US military personnel compared to costs of a Japanese soldier, please, the gear and training alone out exceeds and out performs any troop in the world including China and Russia. Besides the US troops are also battle hardened ready. That' is not cheap nor free. Many people post their thoughts and ideas on here like me because of the alliance between both US and Japan. If my taxes are for the greater good of Japan in this case I sleep well at night, I have a great day, the companies in Japan are safe, then 8B is a drop in the bucket. Now I can't speak about the ones who wake up and use a common knife or a can of gasoline to just kill someone, that is not part of this article but 8B. pay it. Besides has anyone paid attention to the workforce it brings to Japan. The technical labor in each base ratio is 8 to 1 in favor of a Japanese worker vs US civilian workforce paid by Japan err US. Well I take that back on funding that is, it used to be that way base coffers are using US tax dollars that are crafted in such a way that US tax money is paying for the local Japanese workforce in training, awards, etc. and that number is growing each year. But this is for another article.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

The US should remove their troops and bases. They're a sign of occupation, whatever country they are in.

Interestingly, the rhetoric and fear mongering being spread about makes one wonder how many plants/agent provocateurs and suchlike are hard at work, these days. Like parts of Europe in the run up to WW2, there's a lot of chatter, not all of it genuine.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Let's see all the anti US troops are hard at it again.

Until the last breath.

But let's be honest, wanting foreign troops out of your country doesn't make one anti-American. American people are always welcome.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Strange.

In Japan Jiji Tsushin is reporting the same, possibly based on the same source Foreign Policy as this article by Reuters. At the same time some Japanese journalists are getting information from the White House that says 8 mil is incorrect and US has not even decided the final figure of demand.

So the demand may be less than that, or even more than 8 mil. If SK goes out of the link Japan may actually cover a lot more of the cost of NE Asia security.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

China has been known to whip up anti-Japanese sentiment amongst its uneducated underclass

I can’t think of too many countries which don’t whip up anti-( fill in the blank ) sentiment amongst the uneducated.

Read the rabid anti-China and anti-Korea rants on this forum.

-11 ( +7 / -18 )

I agree that Japan needs to become "more independant" in it's defense. I support a change in the Constitution and increasing JSDF capabilities, while maintaining the first paragraph of Art9 that denounces the use of war.

However Japan will always need the US because of the enormous size and capability of it's military and it's ability to deter nuclear threats. In turn, the U.S. needs Japan because it's the only reliable base for US militray operations in the region, where clear threats to US interests exists. So it will get negotiated. Or extended. There's no significant reason for either country to change their relationship.

YrralToday  09:52 am JST

The last war we won was against Imperial, if Japanese would of attacked Pearl Harbor today, we would of decimated them in minutes

Is there some point you are trying to make with this? lol

4 ( +10 / -6 )

So this demand was made by Bolton and Pottinger last July but has been suppressed by the Japanese government and the Japanese media until now? And it's only coming out now because of this article in Foreign Policy magazine?

This is clear proof, as if any more was needed, that the Japanese government exercises control over the Japanese media.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Japan really doesn't need to pay $8 billion. Japan is now paying a large amount of money the most to the US. The US or Trump reduce troops and bases until $2 billion. JSDF have a lot of advanced American weapons now and will buy more in the near future. JSDF can protect their own country but Japan needs the US and Japan peace treaty ever. Finally Okinawans would be happier about it and most American soldiers would be happier to go home and Trump would be happier to be able to save a lot of taxpayers money.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

So Japan's military budget in 2018 was USD$48 billion. Why not tell Don to shove it and give the SDF another USD$8 billion to take them up to $56B. Japan could then 'allow' the US to keep operating their bases in Japanese territories rent free as long as they continue to observer the S.O.F.A agreement.

Let's be honest about this. Japan has the worlds 4th largest military on terms of conventional capabilities and are quite capable of defending themselves. The US bases in Japan are more about US regional projection than defending their allies.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

What a wonderful pretext for getting rid of them, tell Trump he's not getting any more, and if he doesn't like it, pull them all out, then the question of whether or not to beef up Japan's self defence capability will no longer be contentious it will be the obvious move to make.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

$8 Billion? So that must be the "take home" price, eh? If Japan eats it "in store" then the price is $10 Billion?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The taxpayers of Japan paid $4.4 billion last year of the total cost of about $6 billion. That’s more than enough. It’s a ridiculous ask.

The US should adjust the troop level accordingly.

The US is not protecting Japan. The US is in Japan for its own purposes. What will the US do, move out? If Trump has a tantrum and adds more tariffs to Japanese cars, move the factories to Mexico and put 1.5 million Americans out of work.

The Philippines kicked the US bases out 30 years ago and no one attacked them...

Don’t give in to this, Japan.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

The Government of Japan or people are not and never will be a means for The Trump administration to con or extort for economic means to defend or justify its dysfunctional trade policy.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I suggest removing all non essential personnel to include dependents. DOD schools commissary and other extra "support" as well. Increase US army and Marine infantry units, housed and fed on amphib troop carriers off the coast. All tours, including Air force, would be unaccompanied. The readiness would increase and waste decrease. Homesteading and sunset retiree tours, where they spend 10 years in Japan on active duty then get a base job to support each other, would also cease. Diverted funds used on hypersonic and other game changer weapons the Russians and Chinese are building now, instead of heating some goofs swimming pool, cutting their golf course grass, or flushing their poop.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Its nice to want things

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Abe San Government can turn this whole financial circus/situation on its head, unilaterally withdrawing from any Japan-U. S. Defense Cooperation.

Japan-U.S. Security Treaty

https://www.mofa.go.jp/region/n-america/us/q&a/ref/1.html

Then demand a cost for every moment US forces remain on Japanese soil.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

As some U.S. generals have previously stated, the amount of money the U.S. spends on its U.S. bases in foreign countries like Japan and Germany is a real bargain since these countries represent America's front line if a war with China or Russia ever breaks out.

In other words, it's good for Japan but it's even better for the U.S.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Its interesting that when the similar article about Korea came out yesterday everyone's tone was Korea needs the military. They need to pay more. The military is only in Korea because Korea needs the military.

Switch to Japan. Japan shouldn't pay more. Japan doesn't need the military. The military isn't in Japan for Japan's sake. They are here for their own interests.

This is what is really happening behind the scenes. Japan wants a military. Abe can't get his bill passed. However, if the US requests an obscene amount of money, which sounds realistic because the US president is Trump, then the others would see a need for Japan to properly develop their military instead of US reliance.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Out of all the countries which host U.S. military bases, Japan pays the highest.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

So the $8 Billion Trump is looking for.... is actually quite close to being a very fair number. Trump is looking at this from a perspective that the USA no longer needs to be in Japan.

well how about the Japanese ask the US to leave, then they can train more Japanese soldiers to take the US marines place, develop and build more weapons on their own effectively keeping the money in Japan. The US military being in Japan is as much a geopolitical and military advantage to America as it is Japan, why should Japan pay for that advantage to the US!?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Japan must pay 8 billion dollars for U.S. troops to be stationed here? Preposterous! Nonsense! Trump's demand is like that made by a gang master, who intimidates good citizens in the turf to pay protection money five times more.

Of course, Abe will reject this outright. (He already did.) To palliate Trump, though, he will accelerate landfill work in Henoko, the total cost of which is estimated by the Okinawa Prefectural Government to amount to 2.5 trillion yen or about 250 billion dollars.

Mind you, folks. Trump's real intention lies here.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Once again Trump is blind to the big picture, and is looking to make a profit from stationing US troops where they need to be anyway to help provide security for the democratic free world it helped to shape.

Trump is activly aiding the expansion of China to a position to overtake the US as the strongest nation in the world. Attempting to extort $8 Billion from japan and $5 billion from South Korea is nothing more than a grab for profit and failing that an excuse to withdraw all US forces back to America and leave the vacuum for China to fill.

In addition, the discussion on this extortion attempt is designed and timed to reduce attention from his impeachment. The world continues to lose out with Trump in the oval office and the biggest losers of all are Americans themselves.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

well how about the Japanese ask the US to leave, 

Ohhh, that would be China and Kim's biggest dream.

then they can train more Japanese soldiers to take the US marines place, develop and build more weapons on their own effectively keeping the money in Japan. 

In the distant future, perhaps provided you change the constitution and make it like South Korea mandatory that every able body men serve for a period.

The US military being in Japan is as much a geopolitical and military advantage to America as it is Japan, why should Japan pay for that advantage to the US!?

Because Japan is Nowhere near ready to involve itself in ANY conflict with China or North Korea. Tokyo is content with the arrangement as it is now and they'll pony up to maintain that status quo.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

Unless my maths is faulty, 8 billion USD comes to about 900,000 yen per Japanese citizen PER YEAR. If we gave that much money to NK and China not to attack, they would be happy to comply! Not that they would attack Japan anyway.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Your math is faulty. $8 billion over 127 million citizens is a little over $60 per year. About 7,000 yen unless there was a big change in the forex overnight.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The total cost of the American bases is $5.5billion. Japan pay 86.5% of the total with direct and indirect payments.

The total cost for 883 overseas bases are about $50 billion.

South Korea pays 40%. Germany 30%. Italy 40%.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Trump took $3.6 billion from military construction projects to build his wall?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This is clear proof, as if any more was needed, that the Japanese government exercises control over the Japanese media.

Exactly. Watch their ranking in freedom of press continue to slide further down closer towards CCP and DPRK.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Its interesting that when the similar article about Korea came out yesterday everyone's tone was Korea needs the military. They need to pay more. The military is only in Korea because Korea needs the military. 

Switch to Japan. Japan shouldn't pay more. Japan doesn't need the military. The military isn't in Japan for Japan's sake. They are here for their own interests.

Exactly!

And some people even alluded to the increase for Korea as US’ payback for terminating GSOMIA, or that Korea wanted to break the US Korea alliance.

Whatever Japan accuses other nations, they also do, if not worse. Blatant hypocrisy.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

I guess Mr. Trump is trying to make this a for-profit operation.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Pay for the priviledge of having the US military occupying huge swathes of land (and ignoring mutually-agreed commitments, such as restrictions on noisy night flights and where you can drop parachutists and dud bombs)?

H3ll no, Japan should charge the US rent for the land it occupies, plus compensation for nuisance damages.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

In regards to the repeal or abolishment of the Japan Constitution it is not that simple as Japan has renounced WAR FOREVER. Now by definition and not going back billions of years, forever means forever. That's it end of story.

Exactly.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Well now we understand a little better why there was a student movement in the 1950's-70's.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

America gone, then watch the Chinese take over aided by Russia.

Guess its only a matter of time or money.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

If Japan does not pay $8 billion, Trump would reduce the number of US troops and US bases there. It must be a good idea and he could save a lot of American taxpayers money. Okinawa would be quieter than before. Trump would not worry about defense of Japan, because he thinks JSDF will take care of rolls of US military they are doing there.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@mrbaberrunee

America gone from Philippine decades ago, no country has attacked or invaded it. Taiwan lost many diplomatic relations with independent countries decades ago, but China has never invaded it.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

8 billion? China or Russia would do it for far less!

Would you ask the fox to guard the chicken coup?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And Abe is the yes man.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Quadruple???... What a shameless rat !!..

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I'm surprised he's saluting the troops, giving his attitude about them. Still, I'm so glad I ain't in the military anymore. Trump is NO Commander-in-Chief of mine.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japan pays a much higher % than Germany or South Korea does. I am curious what he is asking of those countries.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@ post of " The taxpayers of Japan paid $4.4 billion last year of the total cost of about $6 billion. That’s more than enough. It’s a ridiculous ask."

Can you post the reference you have as it does not match the contribution discussed and presentation funding we are given from the GOJ. IF the GOJ is spending that amount it is not definitely going to the USFJ, hence all the local hiring as military labor contract employees but now the US is funding them too with US taxpayer funds I.e. appropriated funding which is a huge no no but who watches out here or pays enough attention, no one. Perhaps this article will help change that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

this article seems to make Abe’s push to change Japan’s “self” defense force to an “offensive” military force make sense. Though a constitutional make over is already in the works, the move would probably be a bigger bite than it could chew. Something similar to S Korea’s 2 yr mandatory military service (for males 18~28) would need to be implemented to give itself a chance. With the “otaku/neet/hikikomori” culture rampant across the country, fat chance of any success.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

In 70 years not a single American trooper has had to fire a single bullet in anger. The numbers of troops could be greatly reduced to less than 25,000. The numbers of bases halved. It didn't prevent China becomes a powerful military.

"50,000 U.S. military personnel stationed in Japan, along with approximately 40,000 dependents of military personnel and another 5,500 American civilians employed there by the United States Department of Defense."

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I'm sure that most people in Japan are intelligent enough to know that this day had to come.

Japan cannot have it's cake and eat it indefinitely.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

zichiToday  04:25 pm JST

In 70 years not a single American trooper has had to fire a single bullet in anger. The numbers of troops could be greatly reduced to less than 25,000. The numbers of bases halved. It didn't prevent China becomes a powerful military.

What exactly are you talking about? If you mean no US troops have ever fired in anger "in Japan" well yes, Japan is an ally and host to US troops. Why would they?

The US has been involved in near countless engagements in the last 70 years. US troops stationed in Japan all shipped to the Korean Penninsula in 1950. Thuis is why the US "forced" Japan to create the JSDF. In the 1960s Okinawa was the main hub for operations and troop logistics during the Vietnam War.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Please be patient with the U.S. while we get rid of our moron president. He thinks he can get some money to build a wall from Japan and Korea. And he thinks short term only so it doesn't bother him that it will cost the U.S. more than $8 Billion per year to keep the 54,000 troups currently stationed in Japan at bases in the U.S. Currently a large part of the costs of U.S. facilities and operating costs are paid by Korea and Japan. Plus, it is illegal for the the U.S. military to accept payment for it's personnel or services. The U.S. military is not a mercenary force. Our current president will be out of a job well before the current joint force agreements expire.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Whatta bargain !

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It is illegal for the the U.S. military to accept payment for it's personnel or services. The U.S. military is not a mercenary force.

It is now - he's hired out the military to Saudi Arabia, by his own words, he's making them pay for it. Pulled the troops out of Syria to stock the militia in SA as well.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

If the American troops left neither China or North Korea which would be incapable, would attack and invade Japan. It's just not in the interests of China. The American military presence has done nothing to stop the Chinese from turning atolls into military bases.

The country has been at peace for 70 years and can continue to do so alone.

Keep a token unit of American military. 5,000 marines, no families. Take the pressure off Okinawa and give the land back to the people.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

So, he abandoned the Kurds, tried to abandon the Ukrainians, and now is making noise about abandoning Japan and South Korea. Making Russia Great Again. We need to kick him out of office ASAP!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

So, he abandoned the Kurds

Au contraire! U.S. troops are in Syria, helping to guard the oil fields controlled by the Kurds so the Iranians don't get their hands on it to fund Hezbollah. So you're gonna have to walk that one back.

I don't agree with this, by the way, the U.S. should get out of Syria completely, we've been there way too long. Afghanistan and Iraq too.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

"Dis is an awfully nice country ya got here Abbie. Be a shame if sumthin were to happen to it, if ya know what I mean."

4 ( +4 / -0 )

zichiToday  07:04 pm JST

If the American troops left neither China or North Korea which would be incapable, would attack and invade Japan. It's just not in the interests of China. The American military presence has done nothing to stop the Chinese from turning atolls into military bases.

How can you be so sure? There are "scholars" in China who claim that the entire Okinawan chain should be part of China. The US presence may not have stopped China from claiming and building on uninhabited land, but I have little doubt that actual engagement with the US is a major obstacle to any Chinese aspirations to take any inhabited territory.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Stealing oil is helping the Kurds? That would be funny, if not for the many thousands of Kurds suffering because of Trump's stupidity.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

OssanAmerica

How can you be so sure? There are "scholars" in China who claim that the entire Okinawan chain should be part of China.

They also claim Taiwan is Chinese but still remains separate. The Chinese need trade not wars. I think you are just part of the fear mongering.

If Trump thinks that Japan should paid more which is already about 84.5% of the total, $8 billion when the full cost is $5 billion, then it's time for a rethink on having American troops here.

The total for 883 bases is only about $50 billion which is not even a drop of the total defense budget of nearly $1 trillion.

One small marine base with 5,000 troops without family. The total today is about 100,000.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Stealing oil is helping the Kurds? That would be funny, if not for the many thousands of Kurds suffering because of Trump's stupidity.

Really disappointed you will not bring yourself to admit that you're wrong when you say the U.S. has abandoned the Kurds. It's not stealing oil, it's helping to protect the oil. Do you see U.S. troops taking the oil?

Actually, after the trillions we've spent fighting terrorists in Syria and Iraq and Afghanistan, it would be nice to get a little free oil. But we don't need it as we are the world's #1 oil producer. Nothing to do with Trump, of course, right? Just because he rolled back regulations on the oil industry doesn't mean diddly!

And the Kurds and most everyone else there are suffering, not because of Trump but because of the sectarian violence over there that's been ongoing for centuries.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

zichiToday  08:24 pm JST

OssanAmerica

How can you be so sure? There are "scholars" in China who claim that the entire Okinawan chain should be part of China.

They also claim Taiwan is Chinese but still remains separate. The Chinese need trade not wars. I think you are just part of the fear mongering.

We'll see, if and when Taiwan declares independence. I doubt very much that the people of Tibet or the Uighurs would consider being wary of China to be "fear mongering",

3 ( +5 / -2 )

OssanAmerica

We'll see, if and when Taiwan declares independence. I doubt very much that the people of Tibet or the Uighurs would consider being wary of China to be "fear mongering",

Taiwan remains separate. Uighurs a very serious situation but not a separate country. Tibet is also a problem but I don't think China would attack and invade Japan.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Even if the American troops left, America and Japan would still be allies just as Britain and America are too.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Send 'em home already.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I totally agree, he should ask for it, why should US tax payers put up with this cost.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

zichiToday  08:48 pm JST

OssanAmerica

We'll see, if and when Taiwan declares independence. I doubt very much that the people of Tibet or the Uighurs would consider being wary of China to be "fear mongering",

Taiwan remains separate. Uighurs a very serious situation but not a separate country. Tibet is also a problem but I don't think China would attack and invade Japan.

Well you thinking China won't is about as valuable as my thinking they will. Neither opinion is of much significance. But I would think less of China as a threat if they were a democratic nation, rather than a dictatorship. Their behavior since we welcomed them into the international community and the WTO which allowed them to become the 2nd biggest economy in the world does not instill confidence. All nations are wary.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I totally agree, he should ask for it, why should US tax payers put up with this cost.

What cost? How much does it cost the US tax payers?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

In my opinion the USA should half it' military personnel in Japan, and Japan should pay 100℅ the cost of the rest.

It is time that Japan made it's mind up as to what it wants. The USA prevented Japan from being divided after WW2, and has pledged to defend Japan for over 70 year's now.

In return Japan has built up it's own SDF, seems to resent USA military on it's soil, abuses it's position by arrogantly claiming other countries sovereign territory. Then Japan expects to pay as little as possible, while claiming exorbitant compensation for every mishap.

Well done Trump. Rip off Japan's days are numbered.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

The purpose of the U.S.A after WW2 when Japan lost.

To keep those Japanese in check, keep their military in check by making them sign article 9 an American invention and idea to keep a defeated nation willing to fight and conquered all of Asia.

It took Russia, Britan, US.,China, Canada, Australia, plus others, plus Nukes to defeat Japan once in its history! We can protect ourselves!! Dear Trump.

Purpose of the US is to keep a great country like Japan in check to keep them behind the US economically like they did in the late 80s and military by having article 9 keep us behind.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

When it comes to paying for US bases Japan is already ahead of other ally nation and pays the most money for US bases!

First, have the rest of those 800 bases worldwide pay their fare share of cost then we can talk.

Does the threat you bring to Japan by having those bases count? I guess not to people like you. They build their base in Okinawa right next to civilian city.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Siddha

I totally agree, he should ask for it, why should US tax payers put up with this cost.

I have posted in several comments America has 883 oversea bases mostly for the protection of their own own interests. Some host countries Japan, Korea, Germany, Italy make a contribution of the costs. In the case of Japan that is 84.5% of the total.

The total cost to the American taxpayer for those bases is $50 billion. If I were an American I would be more up in arms about Trump's nearly $1 trillion defense budget.

$8 billion would be more than the current total of $5 billion.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

All of these countries need to kick out the US military. South Korea and Japan need to take care of themselves and work together. All of Asia need to work together. The US empire is the biggest threat in the world.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It is time that Japan made it's mind up as to what it wants. The USA prevented Japan from being divided after WW2, and has pledged to defend Japan for over 70 year's now.

In return Japan has built up it's own SDF, seems to resent USA military on it's soil, abuses it's position by arrogantly claiming other countries sovereign territory. Then Japan expects to pay as little as possible, while claiming exorbitant compensation for every mishap.

Well done Trump. Rip off Japan's days are numbered.

Well said. So many people here just have no sense of appreciation at how the US helped Japan to become what it is today, be it economic development or national security. The Japanese think their ‘great’ achievement was solely by the superior selves.

Having just watched the movie “Midway”, there were quite a few people coming out openly bashing Japan. It’s actually not a good time for Japan to antagonize their conquerers.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

rgcivilian1 - The US does not pay for Japanese contract labor. And you can Google the amount of money paid by Japan. It was $4.4 billion last year.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My home country has zero US troops or bases located in it.

Time for Japan to do the same.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The combined budgets of China ($250 billion) and Russia ($62 billion) $312 billion less than 50% of the American defense budget.

Why does America spend so much on the military?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Putting a impossible price tag, which forces Japan to say no, then he pulls out just like in Syria, but puts the blame on Japan. Then he goes back to his owner Putin, wagging his tail and looking for a treat and a belly rub.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I used to think it was better for the US to be in Japan, as I don’t feel Japan ever had a proper self-reflection on WWII, and hadn’t fixed the problems that led to their actions in the war. I still don’t think they have, but if Trump has shown anything it’s that the American system cannot be trusted to produce competent leadership, and therefore the region is safer without American troops than with.

It would be interesting to see trump do a Syria on Japan. I’m guessing he’d face some harsh pushback from the hawks who wouldn’t want to lose their extremely advantageous strategic position in Japan they’ve had for 70 years now.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

China would not want to invade Japan for the same reason the Americans did not want to.

Japan needs a nuclear deterrent which would negate the need for American bases.

However, I wonder if the Japanese could properly handle more nuclear material wisely, especially weaponised.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Japan already has a large enough military. It does not need the US. In fact, it would be safer without the US as the US is the country seen as a threat by North Korea and China. Japanese politicians understand this, which is why they don't want bases in their area if they can help it. They are much happier if the US forces are based in Okinanwa away from mainland Japan.

Of course, the Okinawans understand this, too, which is why they don't want US bases either.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Awesome! Let the big boss be a boss!

Trump truly is not an adult child like some of the people he has to work with.

Maybe he should give classes on how not to be an adult child.... become independent folks. Man up!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The current agreement that covers the 54,000 U.S. troops stationed in Japan expires in March 2021.

Let's just pray he's not in office then.

And as far as removing U.S forces from Japan, not gonna happen. Just from a strategical standpoint.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

For Japan and South Korea these two puppet democracies, their ruling parties were run by "Lame Duck Politicians" and they wont hesitate to pay that "Quadrable Annual Payments"! For  Tokyo and Seoul they can appease "The Unappeaseable"!  You know how they treat their votes like deaf years in the last 70 years!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The price for keeping big brother ???. Abe ???.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan ought to ask for 70 years' rent on the US embassy, consulates and all the support facilities and security costs that have gone with them over the years...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Why does America spend so much on the military?"

Zichi: Speak softly and carry a big stick. It is what Americans do best!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"Why does America spend so much on the military?"

Zichi: Speak softly and carry a big stick. It is what Americans do best!

Speaking softly.... that'll be the day. Thanks for the laugh, though.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Europe is a different entity and it is called NATO and is a treaty alliance between European Democratic nations or Allies.

There is no money paid to the USA for the troops there. It is every countries responsibility to contribute a minimum of 2% of their GDP. The USA contributes 4 to 5 times that. That is where the USA insists on a larger NATO Allies contribute more so the USA can reduce its burden.

Using Japan and the ROK and the Philippines is different as there is no WPTO western pacific treaty organization to form the NATO type alliance. They agreed to pay for so much for the Umbrella and Nuclear shield the USA offers. There is also that the USA uses this to protect shipping lanes and other US interests.

But this also protects Japan and ROK shipping lines to freely transverse waters china would soon seal up.

Then lets take a look at the amount of US Money is put in teh Japanese Economy. If you see all the American companies and contractors doing new work and repairs on bases throughout Japan, we see that these American Contractors use LOCAL JAPANESE contractors to perform the work. So US money is then placed into the Japanese monetary system.

maintenance and repair contracts are almost all Local Japanese performing teh duties with USA money not Japanese money. Look at all teh workers in teh BX and commissary bowling allies and clubs, golf curses and other venues are pretty much all LOCAL JAPANESE workers. It is a mixed bag of tricks and the whole structure of spending would need to be completely reworked. It is about time as the USA should insist if US Money is spent, then USA workers only can work at these jobs. Japan should stop funding anything on teh bases and let the USA maintain them. Japan would really gain as they will save much more than the 8 billion if they pay it.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

let China Korea and all other Asian nations victimized by Japan have their revenge at last, many older Japanese nationals and all officials are not repentant remorseful or grateful for the kindness US has shown

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

let China Korea and all other Asian nations victimized by Japan have their revenge at last, many older Japanese nationals and all officials are not repentant remorseful or grateful for the kindness US has shown

Yes, by all means. Kill millions of innocent young people because you don't like a few old codgers, and start a new round of death, destruction and war to last for generations. Great idea - very enlightened thinking. How nice to know there are people like you in the world.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

South Korea has just signed a defence agreement with China: 'China signs defence agreement with South Korea as US angers Seoul with demand for $5bn troop payment'

https://uk.yahoo.com/news/china-signs-defence-agreement-south-140554681.html

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Wow, that's interesting that Korea is saying no to Trump's demands for more money for troops. He thinks it's a property deal for profit. Good for them. I hope Japan will want to look as strong as Korea and resist.

Japan and Korea should turn the tables and demand money from the US to base troops in their countries. You want a base? You can rent it for billions of dollars per year.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Like it or not, considering how much trouble the SDF of having recruiting people, the US presence may be necessary for a long time.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

After the USA abandonment of South Vietnam in 1973, I suggest it would be prudent to keep the United States military in Japan. For the simple reason it would be very difficult to abandon Japan when your own military is fighting alongside the JSDF.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

LET Japan find out like the Phillipines did! Try and strong arm the US LOL...

Go ahead and pull the the troops and hardware from Japan, let the Japanese deal with NK and China, on their own terms... Look at how they handle SK now, japan would be changing the their tune pretty quick.

GIVE THE JAPANESE WHAT THEY WANT PULL THE TROOPS out now PRESIDENT TRUMP!!! Send the Americans Home, send them home now!

Im sure the Phillipines would welcome all that American money back with open arms. At least they dont care if the kids are not full blooded Filipino's, unlike japan where if your blood is not 100% pure Japanese your considered an outsider, and ostracized and treated like a second hand citizen.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japan is to strategic to US Open Seas Policy ! We tried to shift our forces once B4, only to find out it’s not Viable The Longistic’s were more Complicated than anticipated. I think there’ll be a lot more negotiations between GOJ & the US B4 a final decision is reached !

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan has an obvious alternative to keeping the US bases. Kick them out (like the Philippines did). Then, if somebody (e.g. China) comes and steals your territory, you can complain to the International Court of Justice (as the Philippines did). When you win, you can wait for the ICJ to come and kick out the People's Liberation Army (as the Philippines is, and, no doubt, will be for many years to come).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wait, the US has done nothing to stem the Chinese push into building island bases. The US will not "defend" Japan. The US president has arbitrarily "unsigned" treaties and agreements, so the US is no longer a trustworthy ally.

The only country taking Japanese territory is the US for bases.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Both China and Korea wouldn't hesitate to settle their past grievances through war if they could.

Provocateur

What year do you think this is?

In the era of Yuan Dynasty in his mind, maybe. He really do have an intense dislike of Nihon

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Trump may look like a dotard but he is a shrewd businessman nonetheless, outsmarting you.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Trump may look like a dotard but he is a shrewd businessman nonetheless, outsmarting you.

No, his style isn't to outsmart, it's to dominate, through being larger, suing people, and refusing to pay small guys after the fact.

In fact, I think shrewd is probably the least accurate description of his business.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Probably, I should have used other words than "shrewd" to describe Trump's political style, such as "cunning, crafty, artful, wily", etc. He may want to dominate a given situation but he knows he can't with mediocre means or demeanor; hence a high-profile behavior wherever he goes..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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