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Arms industries regard 3-trillion-yen U.S. military realignment as business opportunity


   Arms industries in Japan and the United States have shown strong interest in the three-trillion yen military realignment of U.S. forces in Japan as a new area of profit opportunities.


   The Report of the Eighteenth Annual U.S.-Japan Technology Forum held last May points out that the U.S. military realignment underway in and around Japan requires a large budget and thus has become a promising field for new cooperation between Japan and U.S. corporations.


  In particular, it focuses on seven projects that include the construction of a new U.S. Marines base in Nago City in Okinawa, which is estimated to cost one trillion yen in total, and the construction of a Marines base in Guam, for which the Japanese government is planning to expend more than 700 billion yen.


   The report stated that in constructing new bases in Guam and Nago, it is necessary to bring together high-level technologies of networking, communication, and security.


   It regards these projects as good for Japanese corporations because they are not in conflict with Japanfs Three Principles regarding Arms Exports and will thus be easy to gain public support.


   The report has declared the strong intention of the Japanese and U.S. arms industries to make profits from these projects for an extended period of time by stating that the U.S. military realignment will be an important area for cooperation between Japan and the U.S. over the next ten years.


   In explanatory meetings concerning the base construction projects in Guam that the Defense Ministry held in Tokyo, Osaka, and Guam this year, a total of 900 companies participated, including Japanese and U.S. arms companies and major construction companies.


   The U.S.-Japan Technology Forum, hosted by James. E. Auer (former U.S. Department of Defense special assistant for Japan), has been held annually since 1990 with the Japanese and U.S. arms industries and government officials of the two countries taking part.


   Auer was reportedly entertained together with former vice defense minister Moriya Takemasa, who was arrested for accepting bribes, by former executive of arms trading firm Yamada Corporation Miyazaki Motonobu, who was arrested for giving bribes.


   Having a connection with the Japan-U.S. Center for Peace and Cultural Exchange, the promoter of military concession hunting, Auer attended the Japan-U.S. Security Strategy Conference that the organization held last August.
- Akahata, December 8, 2007



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