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(Update) Japan, U.S. Agree to Extend Host-Nation Support Pact for 1 Year

(Update) Japan, U.S. Agree to Extend Host-Nation Support Pact for 1 Year

   Tokyo, Feb. 17 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo and Washington have agreed to extend for one year their current pact on Japan's host-nation support for U.S. bases in the country, which is due to expire at the March 31 end of Japan's fiscal 2020, the Japanese foreign and defense ministries said Wednesday.
   The agreement will keep Japan's annual costs for hosting U.S. bases and troops at the current level of around 200 billion yen in the extended period.
   The two governments will sign the agreement after completing respective domestic procedures. The Japanese side will then aim to gain approval for the extension from the Diet, the country's parliament, during its ongoing regular session.
   "We were able to reach an agreement soon after the launch of the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden as the two countries sincerely continued negotiations," Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told a press conference. Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi separately told reporters that Tokyo "hopes to continue to talk (with the United States) on a new pact after the one-year extension."
   Tokyo proposed the one-year extension, which was accepted by Washington. The two sides also affirmed that they will continue negotiating a pact on Japan's host-nation support for fiscal 2022 and later, seeking to reach an agreement by the end of this year.

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