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Host-Nation support level to hold steady five years

Date Posted: 2010-12-23

Japan will cover labor and utilities costs for the coming five years at todayís levels under a new agreement between Japan and the United States.

The agreement negotiated over the past months skipped over calls for reductions in the amount of host nation support Japan would provide to pay for maintaining U.S. forces in Japan. The agreement, which must be ratified by the Diet, calls for support totaling •188.1 billion over the coming five years. Tokyo and Washington will hash out details before signing the deal in January.

Annual utility costs paid by Japan will be capped at •24.9 billion, with Japanís share cut from 76% to 72%. Those savings will be shifted to spending on military facilities, pushing up the current •20.6 billion level. Japanís payment for workers on U.S. bases will trigger cutbacks in the number of employees from 23,055 to 22,625. The Japanese had also wanted to exclude workers in base entertainment facilities and golf courses.

Japanese officials had been calling for deep cuts in spending on maintaining U.S. forces, but rising regional tensions with China and North Korea led to some rethinking about maintaining the security posture.

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