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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 December 14 - 20  > Abe gov’t spends record-high amount of money for US military in Japan
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2016 December 14 - 20 [POLITICS]

Abe gov’t spends record-high amount of money for US military in Japan

December 19, 2016
The Japanese government’s spending for the U.S. Forces in Japan hit a record high of 764.2 billion yen in fiscal 2016, Akahata reported on December 19.

Akahata made a calculation based on materials that Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Akamine Seiken obtained from the Foreign Ministry. The amount of money which the government used this fiscal year to support the stationing of the U.S. military increased by 36.4 billion yen from 727.8 billion yen in the previous year.

Documents of the U.S. Department of Defense show that 45,779 U.S. military members and civilian personnel are stationed in Japan as of September 2016. In other words, the Japanese government spent about 16.7 million yen for each person. No other nation in the world provides such a large amount of financial support to the U.S. military. This fact alone highlights the Abe government’s excessive subordination to the U.S.

The drastic increase in government spending is mainly due to the growth in expenditures related to the project to construct a new U.S. base in the Henoko coastal area in Okinawa. The government in fiscal 2016 allocated 59.5 billion to the project, up by more than two times from 27.1 billion yen in fiscal 2015 or more than ten times from 5.7 billion yen in fiscal 2014.

The Japanese government estimates that the Henoko base project will cost at least 350 billion yen in total, the then Defense Minister Onodera Itsunori stated at an Upper House Defense Committee meeting on March 14, 2014. The government concluded contracts amounting to a total of 96.6 billion yen as of March 2016. The need now is to pressure the government to stop pouring taxpayers’ money on the costly construction project.
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