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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 May 11 - 17  > JCP Okinawa protests gov’t policy to cut subsidies for schools near US bases
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2016 May 11 - 17 [POLITICS]

JCP Okinawa protests gov’t policy to cut subsidies for schools near US bases

May 13 & 14, 2016
Japanese Communist Party members of the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly on May 13 visited the Defense Ministry’s local bureau to make representations regarding the ministry’s decision to reduce subsidies for school facilities near U.S. bases to have air conditioners installed.

Due to the extreme noise emitted by U.S. aircraft, many schools located around U.S. bases are forced to shut the windows even in summer. The government has subsidized those schools in order to alleviate their financial burden to install and maintain air conditioners, including electricity charges.

However, the Defense Ministry recently decided upon a policy to end the grants for 262 educational and childcare facilities across the country, claiming that the noise damage is “minor”. Of them, 108 facilities are in Okinawa, accounting for 40% of the total.

In the representations, JCP assemblyperson Toguchi Osamu noted, “It’s in direct contradiction to cut subsidies for Okinawan children while continuing to spend Japanese taxpayers’ money for the school facilities on U.S. bases.”

JCP legislator Nishime Sumie demanded that the subsidies remain, saying, “The government should face up to Okinawa’s real situation where the increase in the number of comings and goings of U.S. military aircraft is further aggravating the noise pollution.”

In response, a bureau official said repeatedly, “This decision is a result of taking into consideration the current harsh condition of national finance.”


A representative of the Okinawa prefectural board of education on May 12 visited the regional defense bureau to request the authorities not to curtail the grants for local schools. On the same day, the Okinawa prefectural council of municipal boards of education also held its regular general meeting and determined a policy of urging the central government to continue to offer the subsidies.

Past related article:
> Court awards compensation for noise damage from US Futenma base [June 12, 2015]
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