As an American taxpayer, this is one aspect of the issue I worry about.
I’m just waiting for the turn in the dialogue, where the $7 billion of money Japan was supposed to commit to Guam relocation enters into the talk. Just watch this happen!
America is “broke” in the sense that money is very tight. The U.S. already spends substantial sums that benefit Japan. This is billed as “mutual benefit”, but I wonder if a green eyeshade ever sat down to work the numbers, you’d find that it’s a general American subsidy to Japan. (In a situation where arguably Japan could just pay its own money and we keep ours.)
I know a lot of these stateside software companies that do business in Japan get massive subsidies from Washington. Japan taxes them, but it’s OK (for them), because Washington provides the credits.
When you look at the Seventh Fleet, based near here in Yokosuka, who is paying for that? Yes, you and me.
If Japan wanted to discuss the monetary aspect of the Okinawa relocation accord, the U.S. should similarly raise the question of who pays for all the other military spending in Japan and around the Pacific region.