Signing of the new Special Measures Agreement (SMA) (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)
January 21, 2011
(1) Since Japanese Fiscal Year (JFY) 1987, Japan has borne part of the costs, which the United States (US) is obliged to bear under Article XXIV of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), by concluding SMAs as exceptional measures to the SOFA, noting situations involving both countries, and with a view to ensuring the effective operations of US Forces, Japan.
(2) As the current SMA remains in force until March 31, 2011, the Government of Japan (GOJ) and the Government of the United States of America (USG) have conducted a comprehensive review to make Host Nation Support (HNS), including a new SMA, more stable, efficient and effective. As a result, Minister for Foreign Affairs Seiji Maehara and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Japan John V. Roos signed the new SMA on January 21 in Tokyo.
(1) Term: 5 years (JFY2011-2015).
(2) Expenditures to be borne by Japan:
Japan will bear all or a part of the labor costs, the utilities costs and the training relocation costs. As for the training relocation costs, costs for the relocation to territory under the administration of the United States of America such as Guam are added as the expenditures which can be borne by the GOJ, in addition to the costs for the relocation to other facilities and areas in Japan.
- Policies for implementation of the new SMA: the Notes between Minister Maehara and Ambassador Roos concerning the new SMA
Labor Costs: The Upper Limit of the Number of Workers that the GOJ funds is to be reduced from 23,055 to 22,625.This adjustment is to be phased in over the new SMA period.
Utilities Costs: Setting the percentage of utilities cost sharing between the GOJ and the USG, the GOJ is to bear 72 percent (*) of the annual utilities costs up to 24.9 billion YEN. This adjustment is to be phased in over the new SMA period.
(*) Currently, Japan bears approximately 76%.
The amount of the reductions in the labor costs and the utilities costs below the contributions of JFY2010 resulting from the measures described above is to be added to FIP (Facilities Improvement Program: outside the coverage of the SMA) funding. The overall level of HNS is to be maintained at the current level (bearing in mind the budget of 188.1 billion yen in the Japanese fiscal year 2010) over the new SMA period.
(3) US Cost-Saving Efforts: The US will make further efforts to economize the above expenditures.
- Significance of concluding the new SMA
Since the security environment surrounding Japan has become more severe, the HNS by Japan under the new SMA plays a vital role in maintaining and strengthening the Japan-US alliance through contributing to ensuring the smooth and effective implementation of the Japan-US security arrangements.