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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 March 31 - April 6  > JCP demands cancellation of gov’t plan to construct amusement facilities on US base in Okinawa
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2021 March 31 - April 6 TOP3 [POLITICS]

JCP demands cancellation of gov’t plan to construct amusement facilities on US base in Okinawa

March 31, 2021

Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Inoue Satoshi on March 30 at a House of Councilors meeting grilled the Defense Ministry about its plan to use Japanese taxpayers’ money for the construction of a bowling alley and a dance hall at U.S. Camp Schwab in Okinawa’s Nago City.

The Japanese government since the 1980s has constructed amusement/recreation facilities such as bowling alleys, movie theaters, and golf courses on U.S. bases in Japan under the Facilities Improvement Program (FIR) which is funded by the so-called “sympathy budget”.

At the Upper House Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting, JCP Inoue pointed out that the use of Japanese people’s tax money to provide leisure facilities for U.S. servicemen is unacceptable, and urged the Defense Ministry to cancel the planned construction of such facilities at U.S. Camp Schwab.

A ministry official said that the planned construction in Camp Schwab is part of the U.S. military realignment project based on a roadmap which the Japanese and U.S. governments agreed on in 2006 in regard to the construction of a new U.S base in Henoko. The official refused to disclose the total cost of building the two amusement facilities while saying that the ministry already signed a site preparation contract of roughly 450 million yen in expenditure.

Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo said that the construction of “welfare facilities” under the FIP is necessary to ensure a “stable stationing” of U.S. forces in Japan.
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