TOKYO, (BM) – The United States and Japan have made significant progress on keeping US troops in the Land of the Rising Sun. After years of behind-the-scenes deals between the two countries’ predecessors, Biden and Suga have agreed to sign a one-year agreement that satisfies both sides, the Japan Times reported.
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The agreement reached today, February 17th. Due to the tense situation in the Indo-Pacific region, the partnership between Japan and the United States is necessary, said Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi in a statement.
Nobuo Kishi, Japan’s defense minister, was pleased with the result, adding that only the pandemic and the US administration’s transition have delayed this from happening sooner.
What is a one-year deal?
The practice between the two countries so far has been for the agreements to be for five years. The decision to reach an agreement in just one year can bring many questions. However, Joe Biden indeed prefers to make every effort in the first year of his term to deal with the raging epidemic of Kovid-19, leaving agreements with partners in the background.
Biden will also try to “clarify” US foreign policy in the region, which could be seen as a second reason for the agreement’s short period.
Japan will shoulder about ¥ 200 billion, and Tokyo will bear part of the cost of approximately 55,000 American troops. It is clear from the Japanese media that Tokyo has predictably provided an amount in the defense budget for 2021.
However, some military analysts say that distributed in this way; the shared costs could be a problem for the Japanese prime minister. This situation is mainly related to the coronavirus and the supply of vaccines in Japan, which Suga is currently criticizing.
The United States is unhappy with Japan’s military budget
Leaving the agreement aside, Washington is not happy with Japan’s military budget for fiscal 2021. Tokyo has voted a budget of nearly $ 52 billion, the highest ever voted in Japan.
We remind you that during the Trump administration, the United States wanted Washington’s partners to spend at least 2% of the country’s GDP. Japan never complied with “this wish” after last year’s budget was 0.9% of GDP.
However, this year, Tokyo increased its defense budget after reporting increased China and North Korea threats.
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