President Donald Trump has reportedly requested that the Japanese government more than quadruple its annual contribution for stationing American troops in the country. This would mark a significant increase from the roughly $1.8 billion (197.4 billion yen) currently earmarked for the purpose in Japan’s fiscal budget.
This is part of a wider move to get U.S. allies to increase defense spending across the board. Neighboring South Korea is similarly being asked to spend more, as are the majority of NATO member states.
The request was allegedly put forward by then-National Security Advisor John Bolton in July during a visit to East Asia. During the trip, Bolton met with Foreign Minister Taro Kono and then Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya; both were reported to have rejected the request.
According to a Japanese foreign ministry spokesman, there are currently no ongoing negotiations regarding a new agreement. The current one is set to expire in March 2021.