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International relations

Japan punts US base funding deal into Biden era

Tokyo takes unusual step to wait for new administration

U.S. and Japanese jets at Misawa Air Base: Japan helps pay costs for operating American bases under a framework renewed every five years. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force)

TOKYO -- Japan will not sign a new cost-sharing agreement on American military bases in the country this year, opting instead to negotiate with the incoming administration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, Nikkei has learned.

The current deal on host-nation support expires at the end of March 2021. The two sides would typically negotiate a new five-year agreement by December so that the terms can be reflected in Japan's budget for its upcoming fiscal year, but Tokyo is making a rare break with this practice in light of the presidential transition.

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