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Realignment funds survive central budget trimming

Date Posted: 2009-10-22

The Japanese Defense Ministry trimmed its budget by three percent this week, but kept its hands off monies earmarked for U.S. force realignment, programming some $890 million to cover 2010 costs.

The Defense Ministry under the new administration of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama is asking for $47 billion for the current fiscal year, down from current defense spending for an eighth consecutive year. The budget cutbacks didnít venture near monies needed to cover shifting Futenma Marine Corps Air Station from downtown Ginowan City to more sparsely populated Henoko in northern Okinawa, and to fund infrastructure construction on Guam to pave the way for shifting 8,000 Okinawa-based Marines to the U.S. territory within the next six years.

The 2010 budget request has included a 1% from the 2009 budget, a total of $1.9 billion, to cover utilities and payroll programs for U.S. military bases in Japan, a part of the host nation support program.

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