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JCP in Diet demands government stop using tax money to assist in unjustifiable Iraq and Afghan wars


The Japanese Communist Party in the Diet criticized the government for having used huge amounts of tax money to assist in the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Kasai Akira,  JCP member of the House of Representatives, raised the question at a House of Representative Committee on Foreign Affairs meeting on December 10.


In answer to Kasaifs questioning, a Defense Ministry official said that Japan had spent more than 182 billion yen for these wars, about 96.9 billion yen for the deployment of the Self-Defense Forces in Iraq and 85.2 billion yen for Afghan war-related operations.


Pointing out that Japanfs military expenditure amounts to 4.8 trillion yen a year, Kasai said, gNo more wasteful use of tax money should be allowed,h calling on the government to stop treating military expenditure as an area exempt from cutbacks so that more tax money can be used to improve welfare services.


Referring to the fact that U.S. President-elect Barack Obama says that the present plan for military buildup may have to be reduced, Kasai said that if Obama presses Japan to pay more for the U.S. military realignment costs in order to maintain the gJapan-U.S. alliance,h Japan should stand firm against such a demand and carry out military budget cuts.h


Foreign Minister Nakasone Hirofumi only stated how gimportant it is to maintain the Japan-U.S. alliance,h and never mentioned any possibility of cutting Japanfs military expenditures.                                            - Akahata, December 11, 2008


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