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Japan trims budget for U.S. bases support

Date Posted: 2007-12-21

After months of negotiations with the United States over reducing its share of costs for stationing American troops in the country, Japan won a limited battle to cut the budget by •400 million ($3.6 million).

The U.S. ambassador to Japan and Japanís Foreign Minister reached the compromise, which reduces Japanís share of utilities costs for the American bases by 1.5% in the years 2009 and 2010. Thomas Schieffer and Masahiko Komura said the deal drops Japanís share of stationing costs to •24 .9 billion.

As part of the negotiated deal, the U.S. and Japan agreed to keep Japanís costs next year at current levels. The U.S. had been urging Japan to pick up a larger share of the tab for stationing nearly 50,000 American troops in the country, but Japan complained public sentiments were against higher amounts.

The new Special Measures Agreement addresses labor and utility costs, among others. Japanís SMA support currently is •140 billion, more than half the total •217.3 billion the countryís total commitment.

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