• Nishinippon Shimbun

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Elementary and junior high schools in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture, home to U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, have been providing free school lunches since April 2018.

The budget for seven years through fiscal 2024, totaling ¥2.4 billion, is being paid for with the special defense grant from the central government given as a “present” in return for the municipality’s decision to accept dozens of the U.S. Navy’s carrier-based aircraft. It was none other than Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, then-chief Cabinet secretary, who played a role behind the scenes in approving the grant.

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