Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Japan defense budget request highest ever as Abe boosts military
Japan Today ^ | Aug. 29, 2014 - 04:40PM JST | By Kiyoshi Takenaka

Posted on 08/29/2014 9:03:41 AM PDT by DeaconBenjamin

Japan’s defense planners are seeking their biggest budget ever for the coming fiscal year to pay for stealth fighters, drones and a hi-tech submarine, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe bolsters the military amid an intensifying rivalry with China.

The Defense Ministry on Friday requested a 3.5% increase to 5.05 trillion yen for the year starting next April. If approved, this third increase in a row will more than reverse the decade of cuts that Abe ended after coming to office in December 2012.

Abe, taking a more assertive stance on national security, has also ended a ban on Japanese soldiers fighting abroad and eased curbs on weapons exports.

By testing the constraints of Japan’s pacifist postwar constitution, Abe has angered some neighbors, especially Beijing, which accuses him of reviving the nation’s wartime militarism.

Japan, in turn, is wary of the rapid military buildup in China, which has overtaken Japan in recent years as the world’s second-biggest economy. Beijing’s military budget has jumped fourfold over the past decade to 808 billion yuan ($132 billion), nearly triple Japan’s.

In recent years, Sino-Japanese tensions have ramped up over the ownership of a group of uninhabited islets in the East China Sea. Patrol ships and military planes from both countries now routinely shadow each other in the area.

In an bid to better protect remote islands, Japan’s Defense Ministry wants to buy six F-35 stealth fighters from Lockheed Martin Corp as well as 20 P-1 patrol planes from Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd - a bulk purchase to cut per-unit cost.

The government says procurement reform, including bulk purchases for multi-year projects, will save 700 billion yen over five years.

In another request meant to patrol the waters plied by China, the ministry is seeking 64.4 billion yen for an upgraded Soryu class submarine that can stay submerged far longer than the boat of the same class it requested for this fiscal year for 20% less.

The new sub has a propulsion system using long-running lithium-ion batteries, replacing one that used liquid oxygen to run a diesel engine, allowing it to stay underwater for around two weeks. The new design allows a “significant extension to the submarine’s ability to stay submerged,” said a ministry official.

Australia has said it is interested in the Soryu design as a possible replacement for its Collins class subs, which need to suck air through a snorkel at the surface when they use their diesel engines while submerged.

Japan’s shopping list also includes unmanned surveillance planes and tilt-rotor aircraft that take off and land like a helicopter but fly like a plane, as Japan aims to boost its monitoring and troop-deployment capabilities.

The ministry does not specify which models of tilt-rotor aircraft and unmanned drones it has in mind because talks with potential suppliers are still going on, but the V-22 Osprey, built by Boeing Co and Bell Helicopter, is the only tilt-rotor plane in military use - including by U.S. forces in Japan.

Besides the cutting-edge weapons, the budget request is boosted by the planned replacement of aging government planes, used for purposes like the prime minister’s overseas trips - akin to the U.S. president’s Air Force One - with two of Boeing’s 777-300ER jets.

When expenses for the new government planes and costs associated with the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan are excluded, the budget request comes to 4.9 trillion yen, up 2.4% from this year.

The Defense Ministry is also eying North Korea, seeking its seventh destroyer equipped with the Aegis ballistic-missile defense system.

“We will fortify our system of defending the whole of our country continuously and in a multi-layered fashion against ballistic missile attacks,” the ministry said in a statement.

Much of the Japanese archipelago sits within the range of North Korea’s mid-range Rodong missiles. The ministry’s latest white paper calls Pyongyang’s military activity a grave destabilising factor for Japan and the rest of the world.

The submission of the initial budget request will be followed by a series of negotiations between the Defense and Finance ministries ahead of the compilation of the government’s budget bill at the end of the year.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; Japan; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: japan
Related to the 6.8% drop in 2nd quarter GDP?
1 posted on 08/29/2014 9:03:41 AM PDT by DeaconBenjamin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: DeaconBenjamin
Last name Rincoln?

"Ceterum censeo 0bama esse delendam."

Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)

LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)

2 posted on 08/29/2014 9:06:50 AM PDT by LonePalm (Commander and Chef)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DeaconBenjamin

Beef up your arms industry and put that huge population of bored young people to work.

It is far past time for Japan to have a real military again.


3 posted on 08/29/2014 9:07:08 AM PDT by VanDeKoik
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DeaconBenjamin

Somebody here said they were watching NHK World everyday and that it was scary watching Russia and Japan posture (IIRC).


4 posted on 08/29/2014 9:07:39 AM PDT by F15Eagle (1Jn4:15;5:4-5,11-13;Mt27:50-54;Mk15:33-34;Jn3:17-18,6:69,11:25,14:6,20:31;Ro10:8-11;1Tm2:5-6;Ti3:4-7)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DeaconBenjamin
I think much has to do with the fact Japan can no longer trust the United States to honor their agreements be it on trade, defense, or what not.

Toyko saw how the U.S. backed off an earlier agreement to come to the Ukraine's defense if they were attacked in return for giving up nukes.

They see the aggressive stance Beijing takes in the South China Sea regarding the disputed islands. And I'll bet Beijing will make a move on Taiwan before obama’s term is up.

I don't blame Japan one bit.

5 posted on 08/29/2014 9:18:02 AM PDT by Paulie (Get off the grid.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DeaconBenjamin
I think much has to do with the fact Japan can no longer trust the United States to honor their agreements be it on trade, defense, or what not.

Toyko saw how the U.S. backed off an earlier agreement to come to the Ukraine's defense if they were attacked in return for giving up nukes.

They see the aggressive stance Beijing takes in the South China Sea regarding the disputed islands. And I'll bet Beijing will make a move on Taiwan before obama’s term is up.

I don't blame Japan one bit.

6 posted on 08/29/2014 9:18:02 AM PDT by Paulie (Get off the grid.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DeaconBenjamin

Interesting when Defense expenditures are thrown around, especially when converted to US Dollars so we can understand equivalency better....Uh Hm

The cost of labor in US dollars is far less in China than Japan or the US.
We have already exported (in a liberal use of the word exported) good technology to China.

When I was young we used to laugh at products “Made in Japan” as substandard.....they were.....for a while


7 posted on 08/29/2014 9:23:51 AM PDT by jcon40
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DeaconBenjamin

If I were them I’d develop some nukes.


8 posted on 08/29/2014 9:25:01 AM PDT by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: F15Eagle

Russia and Japan postured quite interestingly 110 years ago in the Sino - Russo War.

Didn’t turn out too well for Russia


9 posted on 08/29/2014 9:27:17 AM PDT by jcon40
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: DeaconBenjamin

I say let them return to putting pagoda masts back on their capital ships.


10 posted on 08/29/2014 9:47:27 AM PDT by miliantnutcase
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Paulie
I think much has to do with the fact Japan can no longer trust the United States to honor their agreements be it on trade, defense, or what not.

Even if true, what's wrong with Japan carrying a larger part of their defense load? The article is right; China is becoming more aggressive. So instead of Japan beefing up her military you would rather let her maintain the same level and have us beef up our military in the area instead?

11 posted on 08/29/2014 9:49:51 AM PDT by DoodleDawg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Mr Ramsbotham
If I were them I’d develop some nukes.

Given their technological and scientific resources I doubt it would take very long at all for them to make some. If they haven't done so already.

12 posted on 08/29/2014 10:00:23 AM PDT by DoodleDawg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Paulie
And I'll bet Beijing will make a move on Taiwan before obama’s term is up.

I think you're right. I would if I were them.

13 posted on 08/29/2014 10:09:52 AM PDT by GOP_Party_Animal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: DoodleDawg

“Even if true, what’s wrong with Japan carrying a larger part of their defense load?”

>>Nothing at all, in my estimation.<<

“So instead of Japan beefing up her military you would rather let her maintain the same level and have us beef up our military in the area instead?”

>>No. It was not my intention to imply that if I did. My understanding is we had agreements with Japan after WWII that they never again have a war machine (offensive weapons) and we will establish a couple of bases on the island and also in the Phillipeans, to deter aggression in addition to coming to their aid if ever threatened.

It’s not what I would rather see personally, but we did have an agreement. Further, our military presence is not all about Japan. We want a presence in that area of the world (according to both Bush’s) for strategic reasons. And also Australia is deemed important strategically to have as an ally.

Back to my point - Japan is justified in ramping up their military if for no other reason than the US can no longer be relied upon.


14 posted on 08/29/2014 11:22:16 AM PDT by Paulie (Get off the grid.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Paulie

That’s Philippines.


15 posted on 08/29/2014 11:26:31 AM PDT by Paulie (Get off the grid.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson