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Japan plans record-breaking Defense budget from 2023 onwards

According to Shreya Mundhra in the EurAsian Times, Japan has recently been making headlines regarding its increasing Defense budget amid growing tensions with China. The most recent development is that Tokyo is planning to earmark its biggest five-year Defense budget from the fiscal year 2023 to top $264 billion (30 trillion yen) for the first time.
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The additional budget invested by Japan for defense spending will primarily be utilized for the acquisition of new equipment, as well as to deploy troops to the southwest islands near China and Taiwan. (Picture source: U.S. NARA & DVIDS)

Nikkei Asia has reported that the Japanese government is moving towards increasing the nation’s five-year defense spending to 30 trillion yen in a plan that is to be announced in 2022. This budget will be a component of the government’s Mid-term Defense Program. It is based on per-year spending of around 6 trillion yen. This amount includes the 5.4 trillion yen that was allocated in the fiscal year 2022 budget plan, in addition to the 770 billion yen allotment that was included in the supplementary budget plan of 2021, Shreya Mundhra reports.

In the midterm plan, the government will provide an approximation for the total budget for five years by summing up the price of defense equipment. The current plan, set for the fiscal years of 2019-2023, has set a total budget of about 27.5 trillion yen. The next plan will be revised a year ahead of schedule. There is a possibility of the budget being increased by close to 3 trillion yen. This move comes in light of threats posed primarily by China, Russia, and North Korea’s growing military might in the region.

In the event of a conflict with North Korea, the US military bases on Japanese land are bound to contribute to the military effort. It is expected that Pyongyang will respond by launching short and medium-range ballistic missiles at targets in Japan. The likelihood of nuclear-armed cruise missiles and hypersonic glide vehicles cannot be completely ruled out. Furthermore, China and North Korea each operate 60-70 submarines. and Russia operates around 20 as part of its Pacific Fleet. Japan thus has the necessity to, and presently is involved in scaling up its anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities, Shreya Mundhra comments.

Tokyo’s disputes with Beijing and Moscow also extend to outstanding territorial disputes regarding its sovereignty over far-flung islands. The dispute over Senkaku/Diaoyu islands has also intensified owing to the swift expansion of the PLA Navy’s operational capability. In the wake of these countries possessing both conventional and nuclear-armed missiles that Japan wants to avoid, there is an effort to prepare an integrated multi-layer missile defense ability. Furthermore, China has a huge arsenal of cruise missiles and short to medium-range ballistic missiles.

Alongside this, China and Russia are building pressure using their military aircraft which have been patrolling near Japanese airspace with increased frequency. Japan needs improvements to ground-based air defense to address these multiple threats. The increase in budget will help here.

The additional budget invested by Japan for defense spending will primarily be utilized for the acquisition of new equipment, as well as to deploy troops to the southwest islands near China and Taiwan. Funding will be directed towards strengthening missile defense.

Japan currently has a need to maintain naval vessels that are slated to replace the Aegis Ashore ground-based interceptor missile system. The country has to pay for the development of the next generation of fighter jets that are to be deployed around 2035. Tokyo has further plans to acquire P1 maritime patrol aircraft and C2 transport aircraft.

Spending will also cover new sectors such as cyber defense, space, and electromagnetic waves. Tokyo will invest in satellites capable of detecting missile launches from space. Funding will be directed into research on technology to deal with cyberattacks.


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