Japanese government plans to steal health care money for military budget
Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, center, salutes as he reviews troops of the Japan Self-Defense Forces in Tokyo. | Kiyoshi Ota / Pool Photo via AP

TOKYO—Public hospital workers’ unions on Dec. 9 held a press conference in the Labor and Welfare Ministry office building in the capital to protest against the plans of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s government to use reserve funds held in public hospitals to finance its plan to raise military spending to 43 trillion yen ($314 billion USD).

Kishida plans to increase Japan’s military budget to that astronomical amount over five years. The government intends to use 150 billion yen ($1 billion+ USD) in reserve funds held by national and other public hospitals for the military budget.

This was revealed in a report of a government expert panel discussing Japan’s possession of an enemy-strike capability.

At the press conference, Japan National Hospital Workers’ Union (JNHWU/Zen-Iro) Secretary General Suzuki Hitoshi said that ,considering the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals need to maintain sufficient reserves for emergencies and stressed that the holding of reserve funds is necessary for public hospitals to continue to function in local communities in case of an emergency.

The secretary general of the union organizing workers at Japan Community Healthcare Organization (JCHO) hospitals, Kaneko Masahito, said that public hospitals’ reserve funds should be used to provide better healthcare and nursing care services to local people and added the Kishida government’s attempt to use such money for military purposes is totally unacceptable.


Shimbun Akahata
Shimbun Akahata

Shimbun Akahata (しんぶん赤旗) is the daily newspaper of the Japanese Communist Party.