Signing of the Agreement between Japan and the United States of America Concerning New Special Measures Relating to Article XXIV of the Agreement under Article VI of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security Between Japan and the United States of America, Regarding Facilities and Areas and the Status of United States Armed Forces in Japan (SMA)

January 25, 2008

1. Background

    (1) Since JFY 1987, Japan has borne part of the costs which Article XXIV of SOFA stipulates the US will bear, by concluding SMA as an exceptional measure to SOFA, considering various circumstances surrounding the two countries, and with a view to ensuring the effective operation of US Forces, Japan.

    (2) As the current SMA expires on March 31, GOJ consulted with USG and considered post-expiration arrangements. As a result, the two countries agreed to the text of a new SMA, and the signing ceremony of the new SMA was conducted between Minister Koumura and Ambassador Scheiffer today in Tokyo.

2. Content

    (1) Term: The new SMA will be a 3-year agreement.

    (2) Expenditures to be borne by Japan:

    • Labor Costs: The current framework of Labor Costs will be maintained and the Upper Limit of the Number of Workers will be the same as that of the current SMA (23,055).
    • Utilities Costs: The GOJ will provide utilities equivalent to ¥25.3 billion (JFY 2007 level) for JFY 2008 and those equivalent to ¥24.9 billion (1.5% reduction of JFY 2007 level) for JFY 2009 and 2010.
    • Training Relocation Costs: The current framework of Training Relocation will be maintained.

    (3) US Cost-Saving Efforts: The US will make further efforts to economize the above expenditures.

3. Importance of concluding SMA

     Since the Asia Pacific region still finds uncertain and unstable circumstances, the host nation support by Japan for US Forces, Japan under SMA significantly contributes to ensuring the smooth and effective implementation of the Japan-US security arrangements and plays a vital role in the Japan-US alliance.