Tokyo Tells Trump It Is Already Paying Enough in Tribute

by Marko Marjanovic at Checkpoint Asia

Early in the election campaign Donald Trump was saying how he is going to scale down the pricey global US empire of bases, which wouldn’t have been a bad idea at all. Unfortunately he soon toned it down saying the bases can stay because he was going to make the host nations pay for them.
The reaction from Japan which hosts 113 of America’s 800 bases abroad? We’re paying enough as it is, thank you very much:

Japan is now paying “enough” for the cost of stationing U.S. forces in the country, Defense Minister Tomomi Inada said Friday, though she was silent on how the government would respond if the next U.S. administration led by Donald Trump demands an increase in Japan’s budget.
“I believe it is enough. We are bearing the costs of what we ought to pay at present,” Inada told a press conference, referring to the nearly 200 billion yen ($1.9 billion) in so-called host-nation support paid every year.

US pretends its military installations are there for the sake of Japan, and Japanese politicians run with that because otherwise they would naturally have to resist foreign military presence.
In reality US military is in Japan for the same reason Japan was disarmed after WWII and given a pacifist constitution — to enhance the power of Washington.
Japan in time embraced the disarmament because it gave it a great out from being the pawn of the American empire. A pacifist Japan could stay out of US military adventures in Asia without openly defying its imperial master.

Not terribly popular with the locals

Not terribly popular with the locals

The US military installations however have never been popular, particularly with those who live closest to them. If Trump is seriously going to insist that Japan coughs up even more money for their maintenance (did he even know Tokyo is already contributing nearly $2 billion?) he may finally force Japanese politicians to grow a backbone and show the Americans the exit door.
It’s safe to say that if that were to happen Trump wouldn’t win himself any friends in the United States Seventh Fleet.

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We’ve all seen the film Highlander – “there can be only one”- global ‘benevolent’ hegemon that is. Conor McCleod must have been the first neo-con.
The global north is spent (so to speak) – all the action is going to be in the global south in the 21st century – in SE Asia and Oceania – according to our illustrious Chatham House.
China – already the worlds largest economy (for the time being – seems to be having a bit of a wobble at the moment) – can’t be allowed to outstrip the annointed one.
Containment is the key – the Chinese can’t extend their sphere of influence – not even to the artificial sands of the Spratly Isles or Scarborough Shoal.
The bases are staying – the biggest naval build up since WWII will continue. The economic warfare is set to begin.
Who ultimately pays is the American citizen – once through the tax burden – then again when they are told that they can’t have their “revenue neutral” privatised infrastructure because the corporatocracy won’t cough up and all the money has gone to the military. Again.


Others have said it. And it was my guess. And now we’re seeing it. So-called anti-establishment Trump is backing off a number of his positions already, not altogether, but we’ll see. The barring of Muslim immigrants, a shameful position, has been toned down. The establishment (David Olive here in Toronto for example), probably for good reasons, expects that Trump’s desire (however genuine) to ditch NAFTA, is not going to be satisfied. Trump isn’t going to single-handedly dismantle the corporatocracy, which he couldn’t possibly have a problem with anyway. To the extent that he might cause ‘them’ trouble as he looks for attention, power centers will have the collective resources to sort him out one way or another. I fully expect that he’ll behave or get lost.


Reblogged this on Worldtruth.

Brian Harry, Australia
Brian Harry, Australia

How much do the American Troops contribute to the Japanese economy while they are based in Japan? They must have a very nice disposable income(I’m guessing the USA provides them with accommodation and meals?)


How much compensation does the US pay to the families whose daughters were raped and even murdered by US millitary personnel? Zilch.


The ultimate in colonial subjugation. We force you to accept our military bases on your soil and you have to pay for the pleasure! Thankfully there are signs that this Imperial dictat is unravelling around the world as former subjects get ‘uppity’ – and out from under the thumb.


Only US2 billion!? I’m surprised at that figure, considering the number of bases and troops involved. That actually works out at less than $20 per head per year for each Japanese. It’s a real bargain for the convenience of not having to maintain the fully independent defence forces they would need to play ball with the Russians, the Chinese and North Koreans. Without the US on board, they’d probably have to more than double their domestic defence spending. So my guess is Trump has plenty of leverage if he wants to haggle with them.


You left out the Martians.


The greatest threat any country faces currently is the US and it’s allies and of course the terrorists they have armed and empowered. It would be strange indeed, if the Japanese haven’t worked this out for themselves.