The government announced Sept. 19 that it will allocate 1 billion yen to promote employment-related projects in Okinawa Prefecture as part of a package to help placate local concerns over U.S. military bases.

The decision was made by a government panel on policies on Okinawa, headed by Chief Cabinet Secretary Kanezo Muraoka. During a meeting of the panel, Muraoka, concurrently in charge of Okinawa-related issues, said matters pertaining to the prefecture continue to be high on the agenda of the new administration of Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, established last week.

The 1 billion yen is part of a 5 billion yen budget Hashimoto promised Okinawa Gov. Masahide Ota last year to spend on measures to promote the prefecture’s economy. The special treatment was agreed to partly compensate for the burden on Okinawa, which has long complained that its economy has been hampered by the heavy concentration of U.S. military installations.

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