Japan Press Weekly
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Defense ministry requests 100 billion yen to help in realignment of U.S. forces in Japan
In its budget request for FY 2009 starting on April 1, 2009, the Defense Ministry demands that about 100 billion yen be used for the U.S. military realignment in Japan. The amount is five times the current budget of 19.1 billion yen.
Claiming that Japan should financially help in the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps in Okinawa, the ministry requests about 50 billion yen for the construction of U.S. military facilities, such as a command tower and lodges, in Guam. No other country in the world has ever paid such costs for the construction of U.S. military bases within the territory of the United States.
The ministry also calls for several tens of billions of yen for the construction of new base facilities in the coastal area of U.S. Marine Corps Camp Schwab in place of the U.S.M.C. Futenma Air Station (both in Okinawa) as well as for transferring carrier-based aircraft units from the U.S. Naval Atsugi Air Station in Kanagawa Prefecture to the U.S. Marine Corps Iwakuni Air Station in Yamaguchi Prefecture, where full-fledged land development will start in FY 2009.
As payments to local governments hosting U.S. bases and apparently supporting the U.S. military realignment plan, the ministry requests about 10 billion yen.
Thus, the ministry wants to get a greater portion of the budget for the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, totaling three trillion yen, over the next several years, alongside with the annual military budget of about five trillion yen.
The Finance Ministry is reportedly inclined to accept the Defense Ministryfs demand that the costs for the U.S. Forces military realignment plan in Japan should be allotted separately from the ordinary defense budget.
- Akahata, December 10, 2008
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