Japan’s defence ministry is seeking to boost spending for the fifth consecutive year, with a request for a record ¥5.17 trillion ($50bn) for the 2017 fiscal year. If approved, the budget would represent a 2.3% increase over the previous year.
The government’s recently released Defence White Paper underlined that "security challenges and destabilizing factors in the Asia-Pacific region including the area surrounding Japan are becoming more serious." In particular, the document notes the threats posed by North Korea and China: “North Korean military trends constitute a serious and imminent threat to the security not only of Japan but also of the entire region... China has been continuously increasing its defense budget at a high level, and has been rapidly reinforcing its military capabilities in a wide range of areas, without sufficient transparency. ”
Planned outlays reportedly include:
- ¥105bn for the Patriot Advanced Capability-3, or PAC-3, surface-to-air missile defence system,
- ¥95bn for six F-35 fighters; the first F-35 for Japan recently made its maiden flight,
- ¥76bn for a new submarine,
- ¥39bn for V-22 Ospreys,
- ¥30bn for further development of Japan’s Type 3 and Type 12 air defence and surface-to-ship missiles,
- ¥14.7bn for the ship-based Standard Missile-3 Block 2A interceptor.