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USFJ population numbers 104,000: commander

U.S. Forces Japan Commander Jerry Martinez held a press conference at the Japan National Press Club on Jan. 9 in Tokyo. He disclosed that USFJ has a total population of 104,000, broken down into 54,000 military personnel, 8,000 civilian employees, and 42,000 family dependents. “The population is one of the largest for an overseas U.S. military presence,” said the commander.

 

The U.S. Defense Department releases as needed the numbers of military personnel and civilian employees who are stationed in foreign countries, but it is unprecedented to disclose a personnel figure that includes the number of family members.

 

These U.S. military personnel are privileged under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). Regarding growing calls across the country for revising SOFA, the USFJ commander refused to change the pact, saying, “Now is not the time to revise SOFA and we can resolve issues at the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee.”

 

The USFJ commander made reference to the Northern Territories issue between Japan and Russia and touched on Moscow’s concern that U.S. military bases may be built on the islands of Habomai and Shikotan after they are returned to Japan. “The United States has no plans to put bases on these islands,” he said, dismissing Russia’s concern.

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