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Public works projects feel pinch by new government

Date Posted: 2010-01-05

Japan’s new central government is studying supplemental budgets and taking steps to slash public works projects across the nation under direction from the Democratic Party of Japan’s manifesto.

A survey about stopping public works projects in 43 prefectures plus Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hokkaido was made by Kyodo News Agency, which found frustration among prefectures being confronted with cutbacks in what they deem essential works projects. Okinawa has joined the prefecture ranks complaining about the planned cuts. Only one of Japan’s 47 prefectures has stepped forward to agree with the DPJ plans, and that’s Iwate Prefecture, where DPJ Chief Secretary Ichiro Ozawa was born. Iwate residents are saying “the votes were because of public opinion, and Ozawa won the election, so we agree to the new political party policy.”

Okinawa leaders say stopping or cutting the supplemental budgets will have a major effect on the local economic situation. “We hope the new political party will take this more carefully and think what is best for the people.” Many on the prefecture financial affairs staff said “it is going to be difficult to stop ongoing construction just because of a political power change.” Some prefectures predict there will be major problems if the new government forces projects to stop.


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