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U.S. fronts money while Japanís politicians debate spending bill

Date Posted: 2008-04-16

The American military is picking up most of the tab right now for maintaining troops stationed in Japan, as the Dietís Upper House debates provisions of a new special-measures agreement covering the maintenance of U.S. military facilities.
The Lower House has passed the new spending measure for the 2008 budget year, which replaces one that expired March 31st. The opposition controls the Upper House, and is not expected to pass the •208.3 billion bill. It will still become law after a 30 days waiting period thanks to a constitutional quirk that allows it if the Lower House approves it. The bulk of the measure, •141.6 billion, includes •115.8 billion for Japanese working on American bases.
This is the first time the Democratic Party of Japan has opposed the annual agreement, citing concerns the money is being misspent. A portion of the money goes to pay wages to Japanese workers at base restaurants and MWR facilities, including gymnasiums and golf courses, and the DPJ contends the U.S. should bear the burden for those personnel costs.

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