Alwaght- Donald Trump, businessman-turned-president, reportedly has asked Japan to pay 8 billion Dollar to cover the cost of US military presence in the east Asian country.
Foreign Policy, citing unnamed current and former US officials, reported that Trump's "administration has asked Tokyo to pay roughly four times as much per year to offset the costs of stationing more than 50,000 U.S. troops there".
" Then-National Security Advisor John Bolton and Matt Pottinger, the National Security Council’s Asia director at the time, delivered the request to Japanese officials during a trip to the region in July," the American magazine reported.
A spokesman for the Japanese foreign ministry said the report by the US global affairs publication is incorrect and no US-Japan negotiations on a new agreement have taken place.
Japan is not the only Asian ally the United States is asking to cough up more money for continued U.S. troop presence. The officials confirmed that during that same trip, Bolton and Pottinger made a similar demand of South Korea, which hosts 28,500 U.S. troops, asking Seoul to pay five times as much as it currently does. CNN and Reuters previously reported that Trump had demanded Seoul increase its contribution.
The news that the White House is seeking to squeeze Tokyo and Seoul is part of the Trump administration’s broader push to get allies to pony up additional money for defense. The president has long criticized European allies, in particular, for not spending enough on their armed forces. His effort appears to be working—by the end of next year, NATO allies in Europe and Canada will have added more than $100 billion to their defense spending since 2016.