After outcry from LDP members citing a conflict with the effort to reduce the burden of military bases on Okinawa, policy paper edited to change “U.S. military” to simply “the U.S.” in English education policy statement

May 31, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo

Tokyo –In a policy paper submitted by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to the necessary ministries in hopes of the policy suggestions being reflected in the “Big-Boned Policy,” a set of policy guidelines to determine economic and fiscal management, it was learned on May 30 that the sentence “A plan to improve English education with help from U.S. military in Japan,” had been edited, changing “U.S. military in Japan,” to “the U.S.” This information was disclosed by someone involved in the matter. While this seems to have been caused by an outburst of contention within the LDP, the goal is still to promote English education with help from the U.S. military, and the only thing that has changed is the language used.

The policy paper also mentions, “A direction towards continued Okinawan stimulus,” and comes close to including an item regarding a “big-boned” Okinawan stimulus.

Practically speaking, the contents of the paper are still in the investigation phase, but it is promoting a policy to make use of the U.S. military in ways such as using the colleges inside U.S. bases to improve English education.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry is already working on using the U.S. military to bolster English education, so there were calls from places like the LDP’s Special Committee on Okinawa arguing that it should be included in the policy suggestions for the “Big-Bone,” and so it was added as a revision.

However, some within the LDP argued that, “the language is too direct,” and that, “it conflicts with the relief of the burden from the bases.” With that in mind, the government officials concerned with drafting the proposal took feedback from places like the LPD prefectural chapters, and quelled the blowback by editing “U.S. military stationed in Japan,” to read only “the U.S.”

(English translation by T&CT and Sam Grieb)

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