Okinawa’s budget allocation for 2018 to shrink by ¥14 billion
In its budget draft for Okinawa for fiscal 2018, the Japanese central government plans to reduce the allocation to the prefecture to ¥301 to ¥303 billion that is about ¥14 billion less than the ¥315 billion in the original draft that went to final adjustment Wednesday.
It would be more than ¥15 billion less than the budget request of the prefecture of ¥319 billion. Although the draft still exceeds the ¥300 billion level that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe promised in his manifesto, many in Okinawa government believe the draft is a further proof that the reduction is because of the confrontation between the Japanese government and Okinawan prefectural government has become more serious regarding the relocation of the MCAS Futenma to Henoko.
The budget allocation for Okinawa has shifted downwards from ¥335 billion in fiscal 2016 to ¥315 billion in 2017. This would be the third consecutive year that the amount is reduced.
Prime Minister Abe promised to Hirokazu Nakaima, the former governor of Okinawa, to keep the prefectures share of the national budget at ¥300 billion level through 2021, when the Okinawa Promotion Plan expires. In 2014, Okinawa received the largest share when the allocation was significantly increased to ¥346 billion. But the allocation decreased when Takeshi Onaga, who opposes the transfer of the MCAS Gutenma to Henoko, became the governor.
The Japanese government makes the final decision on the draft budget for fiscal 2018, including Okinawa’s, at the cabinet meeting on the 22nd of this month.