News ID: 315916
Published: 0233 GMT August 31, 2021

Japan Defence Ministry seeks record budget

Japan Defence Ministry seeks record budget



Japan's Defence Ministry on Tuesday unveiled a $50 billion budget request as the country keeps military spending at record levels.

The military budget has been rising steadily for about a decade, and the Defence Ministry's latest request warns that "the security environment surrounding our country is increasingly severe", AFP reported.

The ministry is asking for 5.48 trillion yen ($50 billion) in the fiscal year from April 2022, up from the 5.3 trillion yen that was eventually approved for the ongoing year to March.

The figure is slightly down though from the amount the ministry initially requested last year, a record 5.49 trillion yen.

The budget request envisions Japan building five military ships and a submarine, and purchasing 12 F-35 fighter jets.

The ministry also said it aims to boost the nation's defensive capabilities in space and cybersecurity.

The Defence Ministry ramped up research and development expenditures for potentially game-changing technologies, such as crewless aircraft using artificial intelligence, to support next-generation fighter jets, The Japan Times reported.

The request for such spending will also include systems for the electromagnetic spectrum to shoot down drones and other aerial threats with high-energy lasers or microwaves.

The ministry also asked for a budget to acquire small and midsized transport ships to support remote island defense operations in the country’s southwest.

Such islands include the Japanese-controlled, Beijing-claimed Senkaku islands, which China calls Diaoyu, in the East China Sea. Missile units will be placed on Ishigaki Island to strengthen defense capabilities around the country’s southwest chain of islands, the ministry said.

China’s government criticized the record budget request. Japan is “trying to find excuses to justify their decision to increase military spending,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular briefing in Beijing, Bloomberg reported.

“China hopes Japan can do things that are conducive to regional peace more than the opposite,” he added.

Japan’s defense spending was about a fifth of China’s in 2019, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.





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