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Japan chops funds for Guam move, Henoko base

Date Posted: 2011-12-30

Another nail went into the Marinesí Guam relocation coffin this week as the Japanese government slashed billions of yen from the coming yearís budget, earmarking only •7.3 billion.

The Japanese government trimmed all defense spending by 1.3% as it looks for money to rebuild east-central Japan in the aftermath of the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. Last year there was •51.8 billion set aside for the Guam project, and defense officials say theyíve taken their cues from the U.S. Senateís decisions to cut the full $150 million in funds designated for the Guam buildup.

The fiscal 2012 Japanese Defense Budget includes •3.7 billion for environmental research, to cover costs involved with relocating Futenma Marine Corps Air Station to northern Okinawa. No funds have been designated or approved for designing or constructing a new airfield in northern Okinawa, though.

Overall, Japan has cut funding for realignment of U.S. forces in the country some 41.6%, agreeing to fund only •59.62 billion, compared with this yearís •102.65 billion to maintain U.S. forces and bases in Japan. A good chunck of Japanís defense spending in the coming year will be •39.5 billion allocated to purchase the first four F-35 stealth fighter jets built by Americaís Lockheed-Martin Corporation. Japan has chosen the fighter as its next-generation aircraft for Japanís Air Self Defense Forces.

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