Tokyo hints at cutting Okinawa promotion budget request

Regarding the ¥379.4 billion Okinawa promotion budget for fiscal 2015 that the prefecture requested last summer, Shunichi Yamaguchi, the Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs, held a press meeting in Tokyo on Jan. 6th, where he said, “Basically, it’s rare for the central government to grant a budgetary request from any prefecture in full. The important thing is to keep the requested budget in line with the long-term plans and the government resources, and I’m working hard on that.”

Yamaguchi’s remarks are seen as a hint representing the view that it would be difficult to secure the budget request in full.  The national government will assess the fiscal budget requests for 2015 by Jan. 14th. Yamaguchi denied that the base issue and the Okinawa promotion budget are linked to each other.

This is the first assessment of the Okinawa promotion budget for fiscal 2015 since Takeshi Onaga, who is opposed to MCAS Futenma relocation to Henoko, took over the governor’s seat, so the fate of the 2015 Okinawa promotion budget receives wide attention from both in and outside of the prefecture.