The US and Japan have signed a new five-year host nation support agreement to maintain Japan’s current spending to support US military forces in the country.

Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara said the special measures agreement was significant not only for the security of Japan, but also for the peace and stability of the region.

US Ambassador John Roos said the agreement would allow the US to maintain some of the critical defence capabilities that are crucial for the defence and stability of Japan.

As per the new deal, the Japanese Government will spend $2.02bn annually over the next five years on Japanese employee salaries, utilities and base maintenance.

The new deal also provides more money for facility upgrades, including energy-efficient systems, the cost of moving some training for Okinawa-based F-15 fighters to Guam.

Japan has been reducing the amount it pays for US bases from a high of $3.17bn over the past decade.