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Government slashes Okinawa budget an 8th consecutive year

Date Posted: 2008-12-25

Education and tourism have come away winners in Okinawa’s 2009 budget from the central government, even as Tokyo lopped off 4.1% of the Prefecture’s request.

Okinawa had projected a ¥300.8 billion budget, but the government trimmed the request to ¥244.6 billion. Officials say the Tokyo cuts were the eighth straight year the prefecture’s requests have been cut.

Okinawa’s new graduate university fared well, though, netting ¥11.2 billion in funding, an increase of ¥400 million over the current budget number. The quest to boost tourism on Okinawa was met with favorable funding, as Tokyo assigned ¥270 million in the new budget to promote Okinawan culture, establish the Okinawa brand, and foster renewed interest in Eisaa dance and karate. The budget also allows for increased training for students entering the hospitality field, providing funds for hotel owner seminars training and for enhancing training for managers and workers in the industry on how to better take care of foreign guests.

Creating new industry in the prefecture, bringing private companies and government together, netted ¥83 million in funding, while industrial promotion budget allocations totaled ¥380 million. Work on Naha International Airport’s runway was slotted ¥27.8 billion, a figure that also encompasses funding for the west coastal area development and road construction work in the Itoman City area.

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