Cost-Sharing Talks for U.S. Forces in Japan May Begin Later This Year

Politics

Tokyo, July 30 (Jiji Press)--Japan and the United States will begin substantive talks on the sharing of costs for U.S. troops in Japan later this year, Lt. Gen. Kevin Schneider, commander of U.S. Forces Japan, has said.

The countries will enter full-fledged discussions on Japan's host-nation support for the U.S. troops "in a fall or in winter timeframe," Schneider said in an online press conference Wednesday. The comment pointed to a possibility that the negotiations will run through the U.S. presidential election in November.

Schneider said that there were some discussions on the matter when U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun visited Japan earlier this month, but that there was no major progress.

"I suspect that things will start to move as we get closer toward the expiration of the host-nation support agreement" in March 2021, he said.

On Chinese government ships' repeated entry into waters around the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, Schneider said that China's near-constant presence in the areas is an unprecedented situation, adding that there are concerns that a large fishing fleet may come near the Senkakus after Beijing lifts a fishing ban in the areas in mid-August.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press