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SECURITY > Okinawa

LDP proposal to “cooperate with USFJ” in English education changed to “cooperate with the U.S.”

  • May 31, 2018
  • , Ryukyu Shimpo , p. 2
  • JMH Translation

TOKYO — The policy recommendation the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is planning to present to the relevant ministries for incorporation in the government’s “Basic Policy on Economic and Fiscal Management and Reform” originally included a proposal to “cooperate with U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) to improve English language education” for the purpose of developing human resources capable of playing a role in the international community. However, an informed source revealed on May 30 that “cooperate with the USFJ” has been changed to “cooperate with the U.S.” due to the objections raised, even by LDP members. Nevertheless, the goal of obtaining the USFJ’s cooperation in the promotion of English education remains unchanged and only the wording has been changed.

 

This policy recommendation is entitled “On the Future Direction of Okinawa’s Development” and the LDP intends to present this to the government shortly for inclusion under topics relating to Okinawa’s economic development in the “Basic Poilcy.”

 

While concrete projects are still being studied, there are proposals to take advantage of universities on the U.S. bases and other facilities to promote English education.

 

The Foreign Ministry also has a program for utilizing the USFJ for English education, so it was suggested by the LDP Research Commission for the Promotion and Development of Okinawa and others that this should also be included in the policy recommendation for the government’s “Basic Policy.” This was eventually added to the recommendation.

 

However, objections came from LDP officials that “the wording is too explicit” and that “this runs counter to the reduction of base-hosting burden.” Therefore, the LDP settled on changing “the USFJ” to “the U.S.,” partly based on the request of the LDP Okinawa chapter, which received a briefing from government officials.

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