Yomiuri reported on remarks made to the press on Monday by Department of Defense spokesperson Hoffman. He reportedly said that if U.S. allies want to avoid a decrease in funding for U.S. military facilities in their countries on account of the diversion of the defense budget to pay for the construction of a wall along the southern border, they might want to consider increasing spending on those facilities. The paper noted that the department has decided to reallocate about $1.8 billion from U.S. military bases outside the country and is planning to divert some $400 million from projects related to Yokota AB, Kadena AB, and other U.S. facilities in Japan. The paper wrote that the Pentagon spokesperson said Defense Secretary Esper conveyed the Trump administration’s view that U.S. allies should contribute more during his visit to Europe early this month.
In a related development, Nikkei and Sankei quoted Defense Minister Iwaya as commenting on Tuesday on an earlier press report that the planned relocation of Okinawa Marines to Guam may be delayed due to the diversion of defense funding for the border wall construction. Iwaya reportedly said that Japan has been told by the U.S. side that the budget diversion will not affect the planned relocation of the Marines.