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US hasn’t requested more money to host American troops, Japan says after Bolton’s reported remarks

US hasn’t requested more money to host American troops, Japan says after Bolton’s reported remarks

Washington has not asked Japan to pay more to keep US troops in the country, Defense Minister Taro Kono said on Tuesday. The statement came after a report cited former National Security Advisor John Bolton as saying he conveyed President Donald Trump’s demand for an eight-billion-dollar annual payment, Reuters reported.

“Negotiations over the cost of hosting [American troops] have not started yet,” Kono told reporters. “The Japanese government has not received any request from the United States with regard to this issue.”

The current agreement that covers the 54,000 US troops stationed in Japan expires in March 2021.

Bolton’s reported claim is in line with a Foreign Policy report last year which said Trump sought a quadrupling of annual payments to around eight billion dollars. The move was seen as part of his efforts to push the US’ allies to hike their defense spending.