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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 December 12 - 18  > Japan’s request for substantial ‘sympathy budget’ cut rejected by U.S.
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2007 December 12 - 18 [POLITICS]

Japan’s request for substantial ‘sympathy budget’ cut rejected by U.S.

December 13, 2007
Foreign Minister Komura Masahiko and the U.S. Ambassador to Japan J. Thomas Schieffer on December 12 reached agreement on a new “sympathy budget” for funding for the stationing of U.S. forces in Japan. The new plan includes a 800-million-yen cut over the next three years for the payment of utility bills.

Japan has insisted that billions of yen should be cut from the “sympathy budget” due to Japan’s fiscal difficulties and payments for utility costs that are not accounted for. However, the United States requested a substantial increase in the “sympathy budget” on the grounds that they need more money for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Japan was unable to resist the U.S. demand that was made following Japan’s withdrawal of its Maritime Self-Defense Forces which supplied fuels mainly to U.S. forces in the Indian Sea. Consequently, only a slight budget cut was made.

The current special agreement on the “sympathy budget” will expire in March 2008. The new 3-year agreement will be submitted to the Ordinary Session of the Diet next year.
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