We protest against FY 2023 budget plan and worst post-war military buidup. We call for budget prioritizing people’s lives and livelihoods

March 1, 2023
Tsuyoshi Masuda
Japan Federation of Democratic Medical Institutions

The FY 2023 draft budget was approved on February 28 at a plenary session of the House of Representatives by a majority vote of the Liberal Democratic and Komei parties. We strongly protest against the draft budget, which abandons Japan’s defense-oriented policy, allows the country to possess an enemy-attack capability in violation of the Constitution, and promotes the largest military expansion in the postwar period while ignoring severe conditions of the people’s livelihoods.

The proposed budget includes the purchase and development of a large number of Tomahawk and other long-range missiles. This is an extremely dangerous path that could lead to Japan, under the unconstitutional security law which enables the country to exercise the right of collective self-defense, being drawn into the U.S. wars and attacked. Furthermore, possessing weapons capable of directly attacking other countries could increase regional tensions and lead to an endless arms race. The possession of an enemy-attack capability should be withdrawn immediately.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s cabinet approved a major military buildup spending 43 trillion yen in five years without providing a proper explanation to the public or seeking a popular mandate. Without discussing it at the national Diet, he promised to double Japan’s military spending with U.S. President Joe Biden. As sources of funds, the government is trying to divert special taxes for the reconstruction of disaster-hit areas and the reserves of the National Hospital Organization and the Japan Community Health care Organization, which are considered by law as the source of funds for medical care and pensions. It is absolutely unacceptable to use resources for disaster-affected areas, pensions, and medical care to secure money for a massive military expansion.

The government has continued to cut budgets for social security services and people’s livelihoods, including pension cuts, lowering of the standards for livelihood protection, increases in medical care costs for patients, and termination of long-term care insurance benefits for recipients with mild care needs. In addition to these increased burdens, people’s lives only become more difficult due to stagnant wages and higher prices. As more and more people have been impoverished, an increasing number of people visit and use food drives and livelihood counseling services voluntarily offered at various locations.

What the public wants is public support for higher wages, higher pensions, and expansion of medical care, nursing care, welfare for the disabled, and childcare services. The government must drastically increase social security-related budgets so that everyone can live without anxiety.

We protest against the approval of the FY 2023 budget plan at the plenary session of the House of Representatives. We demand that the budget for the major military buildup be withdrawn and that an alternative budget prioritizing people’s lives and livelihoods be created at the House of Councilors.