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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 February 17 - 23  > JCP Miyamoto criticizes increase in ‘sympathy budget’ as extraordinary subservience of Japan to US
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2016 February 17 - 23 [POLITICS]

JCP Miyamoto criticizes increase in ‘sympathy budget’ as extraordinary subservience of Japan to US

February 17, 2016
Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Miyamoto Toru on February 16 in a House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting said that to add another 13.3 billion yen to the current “sympathy budget” for the U.S. forces in Japan underlines the Abe government’s extraordinary subservience to the United States.

The Japan-U.S. special agreement, the basis for the so-called “sympathy budget” supporting the stationing of the U.S. forces in Japan, has been revised every five years. On January 22, the Japanese government concluded with the U.S. government a new arrangement in its host-nation support for the 2016-2020 period.

Under the newly concluded agreement, the number of employees at U.S. bases who are employed at Japan’s expense will increase for the first time in 20 years to 23,178, reaching a record high. In addition, Japan will use at least 20.6 billion yen in each fiscal year for the maintenance of U.S. military facilities. These policies will raise the size of Japan’s financial burdens of U.S. bases by 13.3 billion yen from the previous five-year period.

When JCP Miyamoto asked the government to clarify the rationale for the annual expense of at least 20.6 billion yen, it failed to present concrete reasons.

Miyamoto criticized the government for groundlessly pouring 20.6 billion yen of taxpayer money each year in response to demands from the U.S. military while rejecting Japanese people’s demand for a grant-type scholarship program on the grounds of financial constraints. “It is the Japanese general public the government should have ‘sympathy’ for,” added Miyamoto.

Past related articles:
> Japan has no obligation to offer ‘sympathy budget’ to US military in Japan [January 20, 2015]
> ‘Sympathy budget’: Japan’s extraordinary generosity to US forces [December 22, 2010]

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