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Thursday, December 20, 2018, 14:30 - 15:30

Shin Hae Bong, Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University
Koichiro Tokuoka, Attorney at Law, Tokyo Bar Association

"Statement of Protest against the Massive Increase of the Defense Budget: An Urgent Call for Prioritized Public Expenditure on Education and Social Security"

Speech will be in English, Q&A will be in Japanese with interpretation.

Under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan has passed a string of record defense budgets partly aimed at narrowing the military gap with China. The Defense Ministry's latest request for 27 trillion yen in military spending will pay for pricey F-35 fighters and other US military kit, and help Japan duck a confrontation with President Donald Trump, who recently warned Abe to "quickly" close its trade deficit with America.

In addition, say today's speakers, the ministry has tapped into the supplementary national budget, designed for natural disasters and emergency economic measures, to buy US weapons not covered under the main budget. "Since 2014, the Ministry has piled up requests for supplementary budget of approximately 200 billion yen (US$ 17,6 billion), and has purchased combat planes, Ospreys and missiles at an exorbitant price presented by the US."

All this happens, they say, while the government cuts public welfare and does little to raise Japan's "miserably" low spending on education. The speakers say this runs contrary to Japan's principles of pacifism and its legal obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. They are demanding that the government stop the military buildup and redirect money to education and social security.

Shin Hae Bong is a graduate of the University of Tokyo and the Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva and has published widely on human rights. Since 2016 she has been president of Human Rights Now. Koichiro Tokuoka is a board member of the Japan Association of Lawyers against Nuclear Arms and a professor at Kwansei Gakuin University Law School.

 

5F Marunouchi Nijubashi Bldg., 3-2-3, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0005
Doors open for TV crew at 13:45, For all others at 14:00, still cameras included.
Please reserve in advance, 3211-3161 or on the website (still & TV cameras inclusive). Reservations and cancellations are not complete without confirmation.

Professional Activities Committee

Dec 20 18 PC  Shin and Tokuoka014Dec 20 18 PC  Shin and Tokuoka028

Shin Hae Bong                    Koichiro Tokuoka

 

 

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