Japanese tax money to be used for construction of 323 houses for U.S. soldiers

The Japanese government will use 81.3 billion yen (643 million dollars) for fiscal 2001 (Apr. 2001-Mar. 2002), up 400 million yen from the previous year, for the construction of U.S. Forces' facilities which include 323 houses for families.

Japan has no treaty obligation to pay the expenses for the stationing of the U.S. Forces, but since 1978 the Japanese government has increased its share of costs every year in the name of the "sympathy budget."

Akamine Seiken, Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives, has recently obtained the Defense Facilities Administration Agency's material which shows plans for constructing U.S. military facilities at Japan's expense.

According to Akahata of April 3, the "sympathy budget" will be for the building of aircraft maintenance factories at air bases, including Misawa in Aomori and Kadena in Okinawa; a pier in the White Beach Area; a new quay for landing crafts at the U.S. Sasebo Naval Base; a medical clinic on Misawa Air Base; gymnasiums in Yokosuka and Sasebo naval bases; a library in Camp Hansen; a school, a post office, and a mental clinic in Camp Zukeran; as well as 323 houses for families of U.S. military personnel.

Faced with growing public criticism of the "sympathy budget," the government last October adopted a new "criterion" which excludes U.S. amusement facilities from projects to be funded. Akamine's revelation has proved that such a "criterion" does not affect the "sympathy" budget for the U.S. Forces in Japan, Akahata commented. (end)