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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 April 22 - May 12  > Government should divert tax money from military to anti-coronavirus measures
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2020 April 22 - May 12 [POLITICS]

Government should divert tax money from military to anti-coronavirus measures

May 12, 2020

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

The average household spending in March marked a year-on-year fall of 6.0% in real terms, the largest drop in five years, according to government data released at the end of last week. A survey by the private credit research firm Teikoku Databank shows that the number of bankruptcies in March increased to 744, the seventh consecutive increase. By the end of Japan’s “Golden Week” holiday period in May, 125 companies across Japan went bankrupt due to the coronavirus crisis.

These grim figures clearly indicate the need for the government to implement more budgetary measures to help households and businesses overcome the adverse economic impact from the COVID-19 outbreak.

However, the Abe government shows no intent to decrease even a small portion of its defense budget which exceeds five trillion yen, the highest in postwar Japanese history. In the Diet deliberation on the 2020 supplementary draft budget last month, the Japanese Communist Party proposed to review defense spending in the primary budget and use it to beef up coronavirus countermeasures, but the Abe government paid no heed to the proposal.

The five-trillion-yen security budget includes 100 billion yen to purchase a number of F-35 fighters from the U.S., the cost of upgrading “Izumo”-class Self-Defense Force escort ships to aircraft carriers, and costs for the project to construct a new U.S. base in Okinawa’s Henoko district which the Abe government is pushing forward with in defiance of strong local opposition.

The government should freeze these non-urgent budget items and instead should secure funds for anti-COVID-19 efforts.

Past related article:
> Pushed by opposition parties, gov’t revises supplementary draft budget to strengthen anti-corona efforts [ April 21, 2020]
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