346 billion yen for Okinawa promotion, up 5.2 billion from the prefecture’s request
Ryukyu Shimpo Online
During a budget deal Friday with Finance Minister Taro Aso, Ichita Yamamoto, minister in charge of Okinawa issues, agreed upon the allocation of 346 billion yen in the fiscal 2014 budget to promote the local economy in Okinawa. On the back of sales tax increase starting in April, the government increased the budget by 5.2 billion. The budget includes 33 billion yen, up 3 billion from the initial request, earmarked for the construction of a second runway at Naha Airport each year, which will be separately allocated from the unrestricted lump-sum subsidy also beyond 2015.
This would represent an increase of approximately 45.9 billion yen from the 2013 initial budget. This is an exceptional case, in which a budget will exceed the initial request. Apparently Tokyo has intentions to ensure Okinawa’s approval for landfil work in Henoko district, Nago to relocate the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station.
While the government is still coordinating to decide on how much will be earmarked for the expansion of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University, an initial budget proposal of 19.8 billion yen requested by OIST is expected to be wholly allocated.