U.S. and Japan Sign Alliance Support Agreement

January 23, 2006

TOKYO - Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso today signed a new Special Measures Agreement committing the Japanese government to provide $1.2 billion dollars annually over the next two years to defray the expense of stationing U.S. forces in Japan.

"The U.S.-Japanese alliance is strong and remains a foundation of Asia's secure peace. America's commitment to defend Japan helped secure peace and stability in the Far East in the years after the Second World War and facilitated the rise of a peaceful and democratic Japan. I am pleased to sign this agreement today, which extends Japanese support for American forces that help protect Japan and keep the peace in the region," said Zoellick.

"On Friday I was in Hawaii, meeting with senior U.S. military officials at U.S. Pacific Command, where we discussed how effectively U.S. and Japanese forces work together. We appreciate Japan's support for American forces based in Japan and increasing Japanese involvement in helping to promote peace and democracy around the world, such as in Iraq and Afghanistan."

The current structure of Japanese Host Nation Support emerged in 1991, with the signing of the first Special Measures Agreement. In 2004, Japan spent almost $1 billion dollars to employ 23,055 local employees on U.S. bases (which covered 82% of total local labor costs). The Japanese also pay for approximately 85% of the utility costs on U.S. bases (approximately 250 million dollars).