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Defense chief eyes halt to noise insulation work near U.S. bases.

TOKYO, Sept. 18 Kyodo

Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said Friday the new government will suspend public spending on noise insulation work in housing near U.S. military and Self-Defense Forces facilities to verify its urgency.

It is part of moves taken by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama to halt the implementation of part of the fiscal 2009 extra budget, compiled by the previous administration under the former premier, Taro Aso.

''I understand that the Aso Cabinet formulated the supplementary budget to spur the economy, but I don't think expenses (for noise insulation work) were earmarked after urgent talks with residents,'' Kitazawa told reporters.

Defense Ministry officials said 21.3 billion yen was allocated in the extra budget to conduct noise insulation work on about 4,200 households across Japan.

Of 130.4 billion yen allocated to the ministry in the extra budget, Kitazawa said the government will suspend the implementation of some 60 billion yen earmarked for work to ''stably manage'' U.S. military and SDF bases as well as for procuring environment-friendly vehicles for the SDF and televisions to receive terrestrial digital broadcasting.

The ministry will apply again for a budgetary appropriation for the noise insulation work in the fiscal 2010 principal budget if the disbursement of state expenses is stopped, the officials said.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Date:Sep 21, 2009
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