Another casualty

March 24, 2008 12:00 AM

The next casualty of the Opposition's delay tactics is the alliance with the US. The current Agreement on US Base-related Cost Sharing will expire on March 31, but the debate on the new Agreement in the Foreign Affairs Committee has not been started yet. My trip to Washington from March 3 was cancelled because the Government wanted to hurry the debate in the Committee; I could have been to the Conference in DC!

The Agreement will go in effect thirty days after the passage of the House regardless of the action by the other House. Yet, today's best case scenario is that the House passage comes on April 2. The first expected payment is on April 10, i.e. electricity bills of the bases, and the Japanese Government will not be able to subsidize if the Agreement is not Okayed by then. The US Forces are supposed to move some of their trainings to more favorable environment. F15s' trainings will be moved out of the Kadena Airport; night landing practices of Career aircrafts will be moved from Atsugi to Iwo Jima; parachuting trainings will be moved out of Yomitan; and shooting practices over the major road near the Camp Hansen will be moved to Camp Fuji and other places. But if the Agreement is not ratified, no government will pay the cost to move those trainings to the agreed places. And it will anger the inhabitants.

The Japanese workers in the bases, who are expecting the pay on 10th every month, will not be paid from May on if the Agreement is not renewed-although their union supports the Opposition.

Our Parliament is now absolutely going NUTS!

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