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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 December 13 - 19  > Japanese gov’t spending for US military in Japan hits record highs for three consecutive years
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2017 December 13 - 19 [POLITICS]

Japanese gov’t spending for US military in Japan hits record highs for three consecutive years

December 12, 2017
The amount of spending for the U.S. military in Japan by the Japanese government in FY 2017 was increased by 25.5 billion yen from the previous year to 789.7 billion yen, marking a record high for three years in a row, Akahata reported on December 12.

Akahata made a calculation based on materials which Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Akamine Seiken obtained from the Foreign Ministry.

Compared with other U.S. allies, Japan provides an excessively huge amount of monetary support for the stationing of the U.S. forces on its soil. U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis in February praised Japanese government spending as a “model of cost-sharing” among its allies.

The Japanese government provides financial assistance to the U.S. military in three budgetary items: the expense of maintaining the U.S. military in Japan (including the so-called “sympathy budget”); the expense for the U.S. military realignment projects; and the expense related to the Japan-U.S. Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO). Under the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, however, Japan has no obligation to bear most of these payments.

The increase in U.S. military-related spending was mainly caused by the ballooning costs of the U.S. military realignment projects which include the Henoko base construction and the relocation of carrier-borne aircraft to the U.S. Marine Corps Iwakuni base (Yamaguchi Pref) from the U.S. Atsugi base (Kanagawa Pref).

Regarding the Iwakuni relocation project, the Japanese government constructed 262 housing units costing 70-80 million yen per unit for about 3,800 U.S. service personnel and family members who will move to Iwakuni.

The Japanese government also used tax money to monitor and suppress local protests against the construction of U.S. military facilities in the Henoko and Takae districts.
The Defense Ministry Okinawa bureau between August 2014 and February 2017 spent 16.8 billion yen to police Henoko protesters not only on land but also on the sea. As for Takae protesters, the bureau spent 8.1 billion yen between July 2016 and October 2017.

The Board of Audit in November in its report stated that the 190 million yen in public spending to regulate on-sea Henoko protests was “excessive”.

Past related articles:
> Board of Audit: cost for security in Henoko excessive [November 9, 2017]
> Japanese gov’t spends record 727.8 billion yen for US military in Japan [December 6, 2015]
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