US, Japan Agree on Deal to Offset Costs of US Military Presence

© Flickr / Official U.S. Navy PageUS-Japanese ships sail in formation
US-Japanese ships sail in formation - Sputnik International
The US departments of Defense and State announced that the United States and Japan have agreed on a $1.6 billion five-year cost sharing deal to support US military forces on the island nation.

An SM-3 Block 1B interceptor is launched from the guided-missile cruiser. File photo - Sputnik International
US, Japan Test Advanced SM-3 Missile for Aegis System - US Navy
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States and Japan have agreed on a $1.6 billion five-year cost sharing deal to support US military forces on the island nation, spokesmen for the US departments of Defense and State announced.

“[By Japan] covering a share of our costs for the base workforce… this host-nation support package will help sustain the US military presence in Japan, a key part of the United States’ rebalance to Asia and the Pacific,” Defense Department spokesman Jeff Davis said on Wednesday.

The agreement takes effect on April 1, 2016, and will directly support the operational readiness of US forces in Japan, the official Defense Department News reported.

“Japan remained a key partner in the US military rebalance,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told his daily briefing.

Washington and Tokyo have been negotiating for the agreement since July 2015, Nikkei Asian Review reported on December 12. Japan wanted to cut its support payments because of financial problems, but the United States insisted on its terms being met, the report said.

The cost of the US military presence in Japan averages $189 billion annually.

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