Will Tokyo pay more for the deployment of US troops in the Land of the Rising Sun?
WARSAW, (BM) – According to information provided by the Japanese media, the expected appointment of Donna Welton to the position of the head of the department of negotiations and agreements at the State Department is an announcement that after South Korea, Japan will soon have to agree with the US on the sharing of the costs of stationing troops, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing the Polish news agency Defence24.
As the Kyodo agency reminds, it reminds that Donna Welton has 25 years of work in diplomacy and specializes in Japanese issues. For several years she was the head of the political department at the US Embassy in Tokyo as minister plenipotentiary counsel.
According to US media citing sources in the State Department, Welton would replace James DeHart in the coming days, who previously headed the Department of International Negotiations and Agreements at the State Department, and resigned in July.
This happened after many months of successful negotiations with South Korea. on the allocation of costs and the principles of further stationing of US troops on the Korean Peninsula. The size of the American contingent is estimated at 28.5 thousand. soldiers.
At the beginning of June, the Pentagon announced that representatives of the American and South Korean diplomacy had finally reached an agreement on the costs of operating and servicing American military bases in South Korea, including salaries for nearly 4,000.
South Korean citizens working for Americans. Washington, initially demanding a share of $ 1.6 billion in costs from Seoul, has finally agreed to lower this amount to $ 1 billion until a new 5-year deal is negotiated.
The Japanese media reminds that in an effort to put pressure on Seoul, the White House said that it did not rule out reducing its contingent or even withdrawing it. Now a similar strategy will probably be applied to Japan.
Negotiations on the financing of US military presence in Japan are scheduled to begin in the fall. They will be carried out in accordance with the doctrine of Donald Trump that “you have to pay for security”.
Read more: Japan joins hypersonic weapons race
Sources in the Japanese government confirmed in an interview with Kyodo journalists that Welton’s nomination would be seen as a favorable factor, given the greater assertiveness of US diplomacy when it comes to keeping US military bases abroad.
According to the White House, Japan’s contribution to the maintenance of over 50,000 US military contingents on its territory should amount to approximately 1.9 billion US dollars annually. The current agreement regulating the rules for the stationing of US troops was concluded five years ago and will expire in March 2021.
Japan needs to modernize its F-15 fleet
Japan is accelerating its efforts to modernize the fleet of its own F-15 fighter jets. They are to gain new opportunities to operate on the modern battlefield and thus increase the ability of the local air force to perform tasks in the evolving Asian security environment.
The American company Boeing has signed an agreement with the Japanese company Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to support the modernization of the fleet of Japanese F-15 fighters. The contract was concluded as part of US Direct Commercial Sales. The agreement is to be part of a larger modernization program dedicated to the fleet of 98 Japanese F-15J / DJ Eagle interceptors. It is carried out under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.
In total, Japan intends to spend 4.5 billion dollars on modernizing its aircraft. Boeing is to provide the Japanese side with modernization drawings, publications on the modernization of two F-15J aircraft to the Japan Super Interceptor (JSI) configuration and the necessary ground equipment.
According to Defense News, the Japanese Eagles are to receive a set of upgrades for the new radar – Raytheon AN / APG-82 (v) 1, equipment in the field of radio-electronic warfare and weapon systems. There will also be an improvement in the pilots’ situational awareness based on an advanced system for the cockpit and mission computer. In total, Tokyo is to purchase 103 sets of new radars, of which additional to the number of planes in the line are to be spare.
The Japanese also ordered 116 Honeywell Advanced Display Core Processor II computers and 101 BAE Systems AN / ALQ-239 digital electronic battlefield systems. Improvements will also apply to GPS systems, allowing for precise navigation on the modern battlefield. Improvements to radio systems are planned.
As far as armament is concerned, the improved Japanese F-15s are also expected to get new abilities, but there are currently no more detailed details about these aspects of the new Eagle in the Japanese Islands.
It is noted that they could be, for example, Lockheed Martin AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff missiles, it should also be remembered that Tokyo intends to acquire JASSM missiles. It is possible that the Japanese side will decide to increase the possibility of suspending more AIM-120 missiles under the modified F-15.
In total, the Japanese air force of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces has around 200 F-15s in single and double-seat versions at their disposal. At the same time, the Japanese Eagle do not play a role in the field of activities other than air defense and interception of enemy machines.
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