The Trump Administration has already stepped up pressure on its NATO allies, namely Germany and Canada, to increase defence spending. Now the US wants to get more from its closest allies in Asia, Tokyo and Seoul, which are already paying billions to cover the cost of stationing tens of thousands of American troops.
The US is demanding that Japan pay four times more for the 54,000 US troops stationed in the island nation – $8 billion per year instead of the $2 billion it offsets now, Foreign Policy reports, citing sources familiar with the matter. According to the outlet, former National Security Advisor John Bolton delivered the request during his trip to the region in July.
However, as The Japan Times reports, Tokyo rejected the request. The country’s top officials are said to have branded the demand as “unrealistic,” arguing that Tokyo is paying more stationing costs than other US allies.
During that trip, a similar demand was reportedly delivered to the US’s other ally, South Korea, where a 28,500-strong contingent is stationed. Washington is squeezing Seoul for a proportionally bigger increase than Japan – from about $1 billion up to $5 billion a year.
“The President has been clear in the expectation that our allies around the world, including Japan and South Korea, can and should contribute more,” a senior administration official told the outlet.
Both countries are to re-negotiate their current agreements with the US, which have…