TOKYO -- Japan will increase its share of the costs of stationing U.S. troops here at the start of the new fiscal year in March in response to requests by the U.S. government.
President Bush and Secretary of State James A. Baker III made formal requests for additional payments last month.
According to a high-ranking Foreign Ministry official, Japan will submit legislation to the Diet that would allow the government to pay the basic salary of Japanese employees and utility costs at U.S. military bases.
Total costs for the salaries and utility expenses are now about 80 billion yen ($615 million). If Japan covers these costs, its share of maintaining U.S. troops in Japan would rise from the current 37 percent to about 50 percent, the official said.