The Guardian 24 May, 2006
Stop monetary support
for US war policy!
In an Editorial in its newspaper Akahata the Japanese Communist Party has demanded the Government refuse to fund the US war machine. The demand came after the United States called on Japan to pay US$26 billion (AU$35 billion) towards the cost of relocating US bases in the Asia/Pacific.
Richard Lawless, US Deputy Under-Secretary of Defense for Asia and Pacific Affairs, has said that the cost of realigning US forces in Japan and the construction of a new US base in Guam would be more than US$30 billion.
In the recent Japan-US defence ministersí talks, the Japanese government agreed to pay US$6.09 billion dollars, which is about 60 per cent of the total cost for the new base in Guam.
The Japanese Government is trying to justify its payment by arguing that paying for the construction of a new US base in Guam and for US military realignment in Japan will help "reduce Japanís burdens from US bases".
From the outset, the Japanese government was negotiating the cost of relocating US Marines to Guam with the United States on the assumption that Japan will pay without fail.
Confirming how loyal the Koizumi Government is to the United States, the US Government used each round of talks with Japan to raise the amount of money the United States wants Japan to pay for the construction of the base in Guam from $2.9 billion to $10.29 billion.
Japanís payment for the construction of the Guam base will change the way Japan shares the cost for the stationing of US forces in Japan.
The Japanese Government has always argued that it provides funds for the stationing of US forces in Japan, including the "sympathy budgets" because they are in Japan to "defend Japan".
However, Guamís US base has nothing to do with Japanís defence.
Guam is used by the US as a sortie base to swiftly deploy US forces to any place throughout the world. Accepting the new US demand will open the way for Japan to shoulder the costs for carrying out the US global military strategy.
The payment in response to the recent US call means an increase in Japanís economic support to drastically change the present Japan-US military alliance into one of promoting the US preemptive strike strategy. The Koizumi governmentís payment of costs to show its "loyalty" to the US is very extraordinary.
The Government argues that relocating 8,000 US Marines from Okinawa to Guam will help reduce Okinawansí hardships from US bases. This is a deceptive argument because the 10,000 US Marines who will remain in Okinawa are with ground combat units and aircraft units, the core of strike forces. They are the ones who have most often committed crimes off base.
The helicopters that cause unbearable noise will also remain in Okinawa.
In Okinawa, the plan to construct a state-ofĖthe-art air base on the shoreline of US Camp Schwab in Nago will add to the hardships of Okinawans
If the Japanese Government talks about reducing Okinawansí burdens, it should work to reduce and eventually shut down US bases.
An Asahi Shimbun [Japanís second largest daily newspaper] public opinion survey published on March 21 shows that 78 percent of the respondents did not accept the government policy of paying the Guam relocation cost. Public opposition to Japanís payment of huge tax revenues for the US war policy will grow.
The Japanese government must accept public opinion and revoke its plan to pay for the US military realignment.
Akahata, April 28, 2006