politics

U.S. footing greater bill for overseas bases

14 Comments
By DONNA CASSATA

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14 Comments
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Here are the comedy lines -

America: We attack whomever we want.

Britain: We attack whomever the Americans attack.

Russia: We attack whomever the Americans not expected.

China: We attack whomever because of the Americans.

Japan: If anyone attacks us, we’ll beg the Americans to attack them.

Vietnam: If anyone attacks us, we’ll side with the ex-enemy Americans.

Philippines: If anyone attacks us, we’ll see them in the Americans Court.

South Korea: If anyone attacks us, we’ll hold joint military exercises with the Americans.

North Korea: If anyone attacks us, we’ll nuke the Americans.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Superpower and Poor America got abused by her Allies. Are they really American friends? What a disgrace and waste of US tax dollars. Send them the bills, esp to Japan!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Obviously our "friends" in Japan aren't as scared of the so called threat as the US wants them to be.. I say move the Marines out of Japan and Okinawa. If they aren't living up to the secuity agreement in good faith, why should the US tax payer be stuck with the bill.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Empires cost money.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

" Empires cost money." Indeed. And it's the cost that eventually bankrupts the empire, causing it to fall. History is chock full of failed empires.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I suppose this is the privilege US has to pay for stationing military personnel and bases in oversea countries and to maintain the status as a super power.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Is this figure correct, Washington paying "$2 billion in non-personnel costs" for the U.S. military presence in Japan? The two-plus-two agreement signed in 2011 stipulated that Japan's host nation supports must be no less than 20.6 billion yen per year (or $258 million), which is said to be 74.5% of the total cost for the maintenance of U.S. bases in Japan. Therefore, "$2 billion in non-personnel costs" as mentioned in the above article must be incorrect; it must be the grand total of personnel and non-personnel costs. Can someone give an exact answer?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Is this figure correct, Washington paying "$2 billion in non-personnel costs" for the U.S. military presence in Japan? The two-plus-two agreement signed in 2011 stipulated that Japan's host nation supports must be no less than 20.6 billion yen per year (or $258 million), which is said to be 74.5% of the total cost for the maintenance of U.S. bases in Japan. Therefore, "$2 billion in non-personnel costs" as mentioned in the above article must be incorrect; it must be the grand total of personnel and non-personnel costs. Can someone give an exact answer?

It's funny how you question the $2 billion value from the article but don't question this mysterious "74.5%" value you pulled out of the air. Here's what the 2011 2+2 agreement says in regards to Host Nation Support (HNS):

The Ministers confirmed that the overall level of HNS is to be maintained at the Japanese Fiscal Year (JFY) 2010 level (bearing in mind the budget of 188.1 billion yen in the JFY 2010) over the five years of the SMA period. The Ministers affirmed that the two governments will implement a phased reduction of labor and utilities costs that the Government of Japan funds, while adding the amount of this reduction to the Facilities Improvement Program (FIP) funding in the current SMA period (FIP funding over the current SMA period is to be no less than 20.6 billion yen per year).

http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/n-america/us/security/pdfs/joint1106_04.pdf

As you can see, over the five years of the agreement Japan will be reducing its share of "labor and utilities costs" - costs which will have to be picked up by the U.S. side.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hmmm... I'll have to retract some of that. I've found DoD data from 2003 that supports your 74.5% claim. The document breaks down HNS into two categories: Direct and Indirect support. "Direct Support" means the government actually wrote a check to cover the expense. "Indirect Support" means that the leases and/or taxes the U.S. would have to pay on land they are using were significantly reduced or waived altogether. The government doesn't spend any money on indirect support other than the money they're already spending to pay the office drones that keep track of such things.

The 2002 report (covering the year 2003) breaks Japan's HNS down as follows:

Direct Support. . . . . . . $3,228.43 million

Indirect Support . . . . . $1,182.92 million

Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $4,411.34 million (Yes, I know it doesn't add up. Must be due to rounding)

U.S. Stationing Cost Offset Percentage . . . . . 74.5%

Using my handy math skills I acquired in high school, I find that the total stationing cost for U.S. forces in Japan during 2002 came to somewhere around $5,921,261,745. Of those costs, Japan actually cut a check for 55% of them and waived the other 20%. The U.S. picked up the cost of the remaining 25%.

http://www.defense.gov/pubs/allied_contrib2004/allied2004.pdf

Keep in mind that this is data from a decade ago so there's no guarantee that the ratios are still valid today. It's the most recent I could find online, however.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The 2002 report (covering the year 2003) breaks Japan's HNS down as follows:

I swear I changed that. That should read: "The 2004 report (covering the year 2003)..."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Most are asking the wrong question. The question is "How much can the Military Industrial Complex can get the U.S. Congress to give them". The real question is how much graft has to be paid to assure continued unconscionable amounts of support to the MIC. Paranoia is good for the bottom line.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Most are asking the wrong question. The question is "How much can the Military Industrial Complex can get the U.S. Congress to give them".

Your "question" has nothing to do with this article, as the article deals with what percentage of foreign base costs are paid by the host nation and what percentage is being paid by the U.S. The "military industrial complex" and their ties to Congress is a whole different line of discussion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Fadamore,

So it's turned out my questioning stands well after all.

The following excerpt from the new Special Measures Agreement (SMA) signed on Jan. 21, 2011 between Japan and the U.S. gives a clear idea about what's going on in this historically most aberrant bilateral relations.

See: http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/announce/2011/1/0121_02.html

Expenditures (Term: 5 years) to be borne by Japan:

"Japan will bear all or a part of the labor costs, the utilities costs and the training relocation costs. As for the training relocation costs, costs for the relocation to territory under the administration of the United States of America such as Guam are added as the expenditures which can be borne by the GOJ, in addition to the costs for the relocation to other facilities and areas in Japan."

"- Policies for implementation of the new SMA: the Notes between Minister Maehara and Ambassador Roos concerning the new SMA Labor Costs: The Upper Limit of the Number of Workers that the GOJ funds is to be reduced from 23,055 to 22,625.This adjustment is to be phased in over the new SMA period. Utilities Costs: Setting the percentage of utilities cost sharing between the GOJ and the USG, the GOJ is to bear 72 percent () of the annual utilities costs up to 24.9 billion YEN. This adjustment is to be phased in over the new SMA period. () Currently, Japan bears approximately 76%."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I feel like some of the most obvious and preventable waste of money goes into housing the troops.

If and when the barracks (on base) reach capacity, junior are being alloted housing in the communities near bases.

Take for example bachelor US Sailors that work on board ships stationed in Japan.

They receive 150,000 yen or more per month as a rent allowance. On top of that, move-in and utility allowances, and various home furnishings are provided to them.

Then, a Japanese owned property that has been properly vetted through the base can begin charging almost as much as they want and the Navy has to write a monthly check for the cost.

On top of that, when the ship is deployed, the rental property is maintained by Navy funding, even if the Sailor is a bachelor and has no family staying behind. In some cases I have personally known Sailors to be out at sea for 70% of their time in Japan.

Instead of a barracks room that is about 200 square feet or so, these Sailors are occupying 3 bedroom apartments at a cost of roughly 2M yen per year per person. Furthermore, these apartments may be empty over half of the time.

Do the math, per every 50 or so Sailors living in off-base apartments, that's about 1 Million US$ per year. I really want to the big picture. I hope someone writes a nice article about why we continue to give Sailors huge apartments when to store their stuff while they are out to sea.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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