U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey aircraft are seen at the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Ginowan, Okinawa. Photo: REUTERS file
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Trump says he asked Abe to pay more to host U.S. troops

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"And we're, you know, paying for your military essentially," Trump said Tuesday

Ok, even Trump supporter must admit that this is a totally ridiculous claim.

Everyone here saw articles about the Japanese government voting a higher budget for the SDF.

(Or, you know, buying F-35s. Meaning that the US is getting much more money from Japan than it is giving away.)

8 ( +15 / -7 )

Trump must want someone investigating again. Just send him a love letter, nominate him for a Pullitzer prize or something. That'll keep him docile.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

"Japan serves as a hub for forward-deployed U.S. forces."

Nothing about actually protecting Japan. If we are just a "hub", the US should be paying Japan rent for the space, not Japan paying the US.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Hey I have an idea, just reduce the number of US troops and toys in Japan that Trump thinks is proportional to Japan's contribution. The US did the same thing in South Korea and made them pay more than 5 times the agreed upon cost. I understand that staying under the US umbrella is worth more than a shiny penny but let's not be ignorant to the fact that the US has its own interests in Japan and should be actually paying more since it chose to stay in Asia on its own accord

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Here it comes, again. Abe has already rejected Trump's request to increase Japan's share of the U.S. military presence five times more. This time around, too, Abe will certainly reject it, which Trump may be fully aware of and expect. 

In order to appease Trump, though, Abe will forge ahead with landfill work at Henoko, with the total cost of new base construction expected to amount to 2.5 trillion yen.  And how about the transfer cost of the Okinawa-stationed Marines to Guam, let alone the purchase of Mageshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture and the construction of FCLP facilities there for the U.S. Navy?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

In order to appease Trump, though, Abe will forge ahead with landfill work at Henoko

Shin-Chan will forge ahead with this work because it was agreed upon a long time ago and it will somewhat alleviate the burden on the people of Okinawa. It has nothing to do with Donny.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Lets cut the BS America, the US wants to be in this region, full stop. The US should be made to pay if they want that privilege, because Japan and South Korea hosting the US military is a privilege. Ship all the military to Guam and Hawaii that will certainly save Japan and South Korea a huge amount of money. Then maybe the Okinawan's can rebuild and promote their island as a top class tourist destination, because at present the US camps have all the prime sites.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Trump, who has called Japan a free-rider on security during his 2016 presidential campaign, told reporters that Abe "is gonna do a lot" regarding his request.

That’s an insult. Who put Japan in a straight jacket? Trumps is indeed very rich.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Reduce the number of troops and bases instead.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

You're a wealthy nation

correction: super mega indebted

2 ( +6 / -4 )

It will be interesting how Shin chan walks this political tightrope ...my guess is he will just stall for time to wait until Trump leaves the office.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Abe will spin this into constitution-changing gold.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I have better idea, get lost .. like get out of japan , right now, asap

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

or pay rental fee + danger fee to japan

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Remember that US troops are not actually stationed here to protect Japan. They were stationed here after the war to ensure Asia that Japan would never try to invade again.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Hmm. Maybe at first. I thought now it was an auxiliary launch area to protect against north Korean invasion of the south.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Maybe South Korea should pay japan the money US is requesting from japan.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Japan is not a wealthy nation - it is up to its eyeballs in debt.  although I guess given the other wasteful schemes it has borrowed to waste money on, giving some to the US is not that ridiculous.  DT is wrong that the US pays for Japan's military - that is another area that Japan spends a (arguably also wasteful) fortune on.

Maybe the US could come up with an hourly rate for its troops here - like JPY 1,100 an hour??

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"Japan's so-called host-nation support, which totals nearly 200 billion yen ($1.8 billion) annually, covers costs for base workers, utilities and other items."

Please keep in mind that these base workers are majority Japanese workers today unlike in the past, and right now as things stand its US dollars appropriated funds set by US tax payers paying the salaries not the other way around. The proportion of the pie used to be 100% initially funded by Japan but today that number funded by Japan is 45% the US funds the rest. Commanders should be fired for allowing the bases use US tax money to pay for local hires and contract funds instead of US employees or US contract employees. Aside this the number allocated of troops has fallen yet the Japan local labor market employees more than doubled. Does it really take 10 guys to paint one room? As a US tax payer I would be extremely upset that funding is spent on another country's labor market vs our own. This is all true and needs to be put out there.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Just ignore anything Trump says. It is all BS anyway.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The occupation is no longer needed (if ever). Please pack up and go.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

I have to disagree with the Prez on this one. Japan is already paying an enormous amount to host US military here and allot of that goes, lets be truthful, to recreational facilities, schools, pools, and GS workers who, shall we say, might not be doing too much? Im not talking salaries (unless your MLC/IHA) but the facilites in Japan are world class. Better ranges, wing support and facilities for single Marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen, no more GOJ built commisaries, schools or base housing.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Abe has frittered away our public funds buying US arms and our children face a future with no health services and no pensions in their old age. And now this creep with bad hair comes bleating for more money. Japan is already armed to the teeth. It's time to tell the US "defense" mob to look elsewhere.

This is too much. Without the US military, the world would be a much safer place.

We don't need US defense (aka protection racket.

I wonder if Abe has the cohones to tell them.

I doubt it.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Trump should visit Okinawa and see the facilities the Japanese Govt. has built for the U.S. Military. He could play 18 holes of golf at the U.S. Marines Taiyo Country Club that the Japanese Taxpayers paid for or if he does not have time for 18 holes, he could play at the 9 hole course built by the Japanese Taxpayers at the Chibana Sports Complex. He could visit at the High school, Jr. High Schools and Elementary Schools built for U.S. Military Children by the Japanese Taxpayers and see the facilities and nice areas to play on that the children have and then he can go to a local school on Okinawa and see the facilities and areas that they have to play on. Then he can visit one of the Centrally A/C Centrally Heated Housing Units that the Japanese Taxpayers built for the U.S. Military. I do not understand why the Japanese Govt. continues to allow this myth that Japan is not spending enough on U.S. Forces in Japan. They should publish a list of every facility they have built on U.S. Bases in Japan including photos and costs for each facility. Japan has paid and continues to pay more than its fair share to host U.S. Forces in Japan.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Wow, other world leaders are now openly mocking Trump.

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/12/justin-trudeau-macron-appear-to-make-fun-of-trump-at-nato.html

3 ( +7 / -4 )

If Japan accedes to the request, American tax payers will have Trump to thank for the billions that will have been freed up to fund hospitals, schools, and other deserving areas close to a bleeding heart liberal’s Shinzo.

And to those complaining that this will reduce Japan’s capacity to fund its own hospitals, schools, and old age pensions, consider the alternative. Japan having to pay entirely for its own defence with annual outlays multiples of what Trump proposes to charge.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Stranger

Being mocked by the likes of Macron and Trudeau is not that bad.  They are not exactly figures of any great weight deserving of our respect.  Plus doubt the Don will care one jot.  Probably tweet some childish riposte but that's it.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

This is what Japan gets for playing up to big brother , trump and america. abe deserve it. It problem is, Japanese citizen have to pay for it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is all true and needs to be put out there

I doubt it!

It would cost USA more to move the troops back home or onto another forward base elsewhere.

Trump is being Trump, but don't be surprised if later we all find out Japan is already carrying more than a fair burden for its defense.

All the F35s, the base, the facilities, salaries of base admin people, Japan's own forces...it's a lot more than Germany.

Fairness aside, this Trump move weakens alliances, not something USA needs at this point in time. To me, it just looks like a series of moves to appease Putin. Also ask yourself this 'How is USA interest served with this move?' It doesn't, it serves Putin and China's interest.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

After abandoning the Kurds and stabbing the Ukrainians in the back, he is laying the groundwork for betraying the Japanese and the Koreans. Putin is certainly getting his money's worth.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Why Japan needs 50,000 US troops here to protect/defend Japan? Japan is not at war! Japan already has 226,000 (G, A, M) SDF members in all. It seems to me Japan can surely take care of rolls of US military they are doing all over Japan even if half of US troops go home. Japan is Japan, so Japanese have to protect their own country whatever. It seems to me the US can save a lot of taxpayers money if half of US troops go home and Japan doesn't need to pay more money to the US military as a result.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Trump's ignorance of strategic forward deployment is astounding. The US military presence in both Japan and S. Korea is not primarily as a defense structure for the host nations, but rather as forward deployed US defense mechanism against Chinese and N. Korean aggression.

For all those on here that think China is not a threat I direct your attention to the frequent violations of Japanese claimed waters by Chinese naval vessels, on a near weekly basis. Does anyone actually beleive the Chinese, and the Russians for that matter, would be less outwardly aggressive if there were no US military presence in the region? Be careful what you hope for.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Trump has ordered 17 new nuclear subs. Got to pay for them somehow.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@RE: I have to disagree with the Prez on this one. Japan is already paying an enormous amount to host US military here and allot of that goes, lets be truthful, to recreational facilities, schools, pools, and GS workers who, shall we say, might not be doing too much? Im not talking salaries (unless your MLC/IHA) but the facilites in Japan are world class. Better ranges, wing support and facilities for single Marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen, no more GOJ built commisaries, schools or base housing.

Let's call a spade a spade, if and when things go wrong for Japan, it will be US blood that will spill not Japanese. Be nice if both in a perfect world are allied in that aspect but realistically that wont' happen. That is the truth. Now on to the comment, while true there are nice facilities that were built and paid for by Japan funding, a lot of the recent renovations to keep in line with US codes were all built to Japan building specs. hmmm. That kept the US inspection failures as these though overseas have to meet UFC codes. But the question remains with so many troops gone out in training, exercises etc., these same facilities are always full by yes you guessed it Japanese. Camp Zama golf course, Kadena, for example are always booked for Japanese, try going during the day and it is almost impossible to get a decent tee off. The gyms, swimming pools same story. All the money for the Civil Engineering projects and supporting local Japan contractors paid by US tax payers that put Japanese not US citizens to work. hmmm. As for the GS employees, your quite wrong in that, the reason they can't the job done correctly is due to BRAC and the loss of corporate knowledge. The MLC (i.e. japan worker) is not very helpful to the GS's federal employees or US contracted employees. That is true. They have their own connection, almost like a Mafia they run the show.

@re: Why Japan needs 50,000 US troops here to protect/defend Japan?

Because in WW2 the Imperial military went power hungry with all its neighbors, do you really think they have forgotten. China due to Manchuria wants Japan to taste it's steel very bad as payback, look at the encroachments by them, Russia wants more territory i.e. fishing ground and land. Please be careful in what post unless you know for sure what is going on and you have the entire big picture. I could respond more to add more information but I can't on this blog due to privy information for both countries.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"I've asked Japan. I said to Prime Minister Abe, a friend of mine, Shinzo. I said, 'You have to help us out here. We're paying a lot of money. You're a wealthy nation. And we're, you know, paying for your military essentially,"

Just like a gangster...

Japan shouldn't be paying for Americans to be stationed there - it's completely the wrong way around... the Orange Baboon needs to pay Japan. Arse!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

"And we're, you know, paying for your military essentially," Trump said Tuesday

Ok, even Trump supporter must admit that this is a totally ridiculous claim.

Bad choice of words. He meant that because the U.S. military is in Japan, the Japanese government can spend way less on the SDF, though they get plenty of money.

(Or, you know, buying F-35s. Meaning that the US is getting much more money from Japan than it is giving away.)

The U.S. isn't getting all that money, Lockheed Martin's getting most of it.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Actually Russia has their own internal problems so does China so invasion is out of picture hers halving the US troops will b win win for Japan n US

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The U.S. isn't getting all that money, Lockheed Martin's getting most of it.

The federal budget, including the defense budget, is paid for by the American taxpayers. The money earned by Lockheed Martin is an American company paying corp tax and American employees also paying taxes.

Japan pays $2 billion directly and about $2 billion indirectly. The total cost for the U.S. is $5 billion.

On top of that Japan spends big time on American weapons.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

zichi... If Japan doesn't want to pay more, Trump will drawing down troops in Japan. They'll pay because they know it's worth it. U.S. military has kept Japan out of trouble for 73 years.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

zichi... Trump has been consistent for 30 years. Watch this 1988 interview with Oprah in which he talks about how our allies are getting a free ride.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEPs17_AkTI

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Serrano

I will be happy if my tax yen no longer supports having the American military bases. Japan didn't have much say in what happened since they were the losers of WW2. They didn't have much say on the constitution.

The total cost to America for maintaining 883 overseas bases is about $65 billion. If Trump closed them all down and shipped the troops and hardware back home the real saving would be less than $20 billion from a $800 billion defense budget.

America's prime interest isn't protecting Japan against attacks, it protecting it's own interests in the region, like shipping lanes in the South China Sea.

It's naive to think the U.S. bases are for protecting Japan.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

America's prime interest isn't protecting Japan against attacks, it protecting it's own interests in the region, like shipping lanes in the South China Sea.

It seems the US should rather have to pay some money to Japan if the US military is using land of Japan for such own interests in the regions.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Dear U.S.A

We have supported and paid alot more than any other ally when it comes to hosting US bases and troops. We pay %75 of the cost and the most money out of all ally nations to support those troops. Japan pays 3x as much as S. Korea is long before Trump came to power. Recently Japan also purchased an island for US soldiers to use for military drills.

Actions speak louder than words and Japan's actions and contribution speak for themselves including when it comes to factories opened in the US by Japanese companies, employing millions of Americans. We do that too. More than anyone else!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Because in WW2 the Imperial military went power hungry with all its neighbors, do you really think they have forgotten. China due to Manchuria wants Japan to taste it's steel very bad as payback, look at the encroachments by them, Russia wants more territory i.e. fishing ground and land.

50,000 US troops would continue to be stationed in Japan even if Japan did not pay more, as long as the US have its own prime interests in the region. It seems to me the US can't reduce bases and troops from there whatever happens.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"I've asked Japan. I said to Prime Minister Abe, a friend of mine, Shinzo. I said, 'You have to help us out here. 

If Shinzo is Donny’s friend and this is one friend helping out another, fine, let Shinzo pay as much as he likes or can afford - out of his own pocket.

Not a bent halfpenny or crooked yen out of taxpayer money. We just had a tax increase to supposedly help balance the books. Sorry Donny, there’s no surplus to spend on making Okinawa even more of a holiday resort for military types.

Don’t like it - scale down your operations, send surplus staff, dependents etc., home, learn to live within your means.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Abe should have tied SOFA negotiations to trade talks and told Trump that the tariff has more than been paid.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

And to those complaining that this will reduce Japan’s capacity to fund its own hospitals, schools, and old age pensions, consider the alternative. Japan having to pay entirely for its own defence with annual outlays multiples of what Trump proposes to charge.

Well stated. But most commenters here are left leaning and resort to name calling and just basically rude comments. I would add that U.S. personnel spend their deservedly hard earned money in Japan too which helps their economy. My recent visit to Narita airport I visited with U.S. soldiers using some downtime to visit beautiful Tokyo (I personally love Japan). Now I wish I had paid for their Taxi - my bad. Also there is that issue about Japan's trade surplus.....

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I totally agree with President Trumps reasonable request.

For years Japan has enjoyed security and protection, while complaining about US forces being on Japanese soil, re-arming itself and demanding exorbitant compensation for every minor mishap.

Japan, now arrogantly stakes claim to other countries sovereign territory, and takes for granted that the USA will support Japans claims.

I think that the whole arrangement needs to be looked at.

.... and yes, Americans are putting their lives on the line, while in Japan people can sit back and watch Sony TV.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

If your interested in Facts and not Anti-Japan propaganda check how much each ally has been paying for the last decade. Google is your friend.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It's naive to think the U.S. bases are for protecting Japan.

It's naive to think they're not. Of course the US has other interests in having bases and personnel in Japan. Why wouldn't they? Use what you have for as much as you can.

But to think that the US would not come to Japan's defense if anything threatened Japan is just plain ignorant.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I think we would like to see Japan with a proud military of their own to celebrate. President Trump is probably trying to nudge the citizens into changing the constitution to allow that. Could use help in the world against bad people with a offensive capable Japan military.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I think we would like to see Japan with a proud military of their own

I agree and it would go a long way to reducing the number of US troops required in the region, but there's always people here that actually believe Japan will instantly revert back to the Imperial Japanese Army and try to take over Asia again if they do. It's nuts.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

re:@It seems the US should rather have to pay some money to Japan if the US military is using land of Japan for such own interests in the regions.

I guess the best approach is direct: Be lucky that the US is not like most country who are true "occupiers" and make the lands there own period, i.e. meaning it becomes a part of their culture to include assimilation where the conquered country loses its currency, language, culture etc. i.e. Japan did that to the Ryuko Kingdom, tried and almost succeeded in Korea etc. The US though it could have if it was such a country made Japan entirely into a US territory and become a state of the US. Did the US do this no, instead it let Japan keeps its culture etc and has even previsioned land back to Japan that is not needed for mission operational support. The interests of the US support the same interests of Japan. Like being allowed to post your thoughts unlike in China? hmmm.

re:@ 50,000 US troops would continue to be stationed in Japan even if Japan did not pay more, as long as the US have its own prime interests in the region. It seems to me the US can't reduce bases and troops from there whatever happens.

I guess the best response is a question? What possible prime interests are that important to the US that you think is important? The US does not need to be here at all. We do not fight battles in the conventional thinking anymore that is yesterdays news. The US is the only SUPERPOWER today, which is why it takes Russia and China to combine their forces as a means to counter and keep balance. Keep in mind due to the global community China is a threat today because they are the only ones doing a military massive buildup and threatening the entire Asian communities with their encroachment tactics and militarism but who is their enemy? Not the US, not Japan, SK, Russia, Vietnam etc. they all want to do TRADE, not war. So why this buildup?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japan currently pays over 75% of the cost of the US troops stationed in Japan. Trump's demand to increase the payments by four or five fold are based on a right-wing conspiracy theory that is not reflected in the real world. Once again, we see what happens when a Putin Puppet is allowed to dictate to the world stage.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

There is no war in Japan, why needed them?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

A friend in need is a friend indeed.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The interests of the US support the same interests of Japan. Like being allowed to post your thoughts unlike in China?

The US military would go out when it lost such interests between two countries, because the US does not need to be here at all. Even if all US military bases and troops moved to Guam, the US military can keep good balance against China/Russia forces. As you said, the US is superpower today. Japan thinks China/Russia are kinda threat but not enemy at all. Japan is having good businesses and relationships with these countries now. It seems that JSDF has to take care of whole country, not paying more money to the US. Guam seems best location for the US to watch good balance.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yes, master. How much?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@602miko

There is no war in Japan, why needed them?

Because it's a deterrent to anyone who might want to start one.

Better to have it and not need it, than the other way around.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If your interested in Facts and not Anti-Japan propaganda check how much each ally has been paying for the last decade. Google is your friend.

A reasonable request from an ally does not constitute "anti-Japan" propaganda.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

mocked by macaroon and trudeau? is that even an insult , two rich teenage boys and a british blond TS ...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There is no war in Japan, why needed them?

Yeah, the U.S. military has done an admirable job keeping Japan out of trouble for 73 years.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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