Tokyo : With the concerns of increased security risks from China and North Korea, Japanese government has begun preparations to sanction a defense budget of $52 billion. A proposal to this effect will be presented in the Japanese parliament in the coming week. This defense budget includes expenses for production of military drones, upgradation of missile defense technology, etc.
The increase in Japanese defense budget is ‘the need of the day’, such is the firm stand taken by the Abe government in Japan. The ‘Senkaku’ Islands dispute in the ‘East China Sea’ and the dispute over the Airspace with China have not yet been resolved. The Chinese ships continue to intrude in the disputed waters. It was just in the last week that China had dispatched around 230 ships in the waters of ‘East China Sea’.
In the past 8 months North Korea has increased its missiles tests and these tests also included 2 missiles which were launched in the direction of Japan. North Korea had also conducted a Hydrogen Bomb test at the beginning of this year which had caused a big turmoil. North Korea is reported to be preparing for yet another nuclear test.
Last year Japan had spent $48 billion on defense. This year, the Japanese defense ministry has publicly announced to increase the spending by 2.3 percent.
As Shinzo Abe’s party has majority in both the houses in the Japanese parliament, there is a good possibility of budget getting sanctioned.
This defense budget has few special provisions. The budget proposes the production of ‘Combat-drones’ to secure Senkaku and other group of islands within the Japanese maritime boundary. The contract to manufacture such drones will be given private Japanese companies. This budget also provides for the upgradation of advanced missiles defense systems procured from USA like, ‘Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA’ and ‘Patriot’. Japan plans to take the help of USA for this.
Japan had increased its defense budget last year as well. China had reacted very intensely to this.
To mitigate the security threat from China to ‘Senkaku’, Japan had provisioned to manufacture amphibious tanks and procurement of drones.
After coming to power in 2013, Abe has increased the Japanese defense budget consecutively for the 5th time. China has been implying that Japan’s anti-China defense policy is sure to flare up a conflict in East Asia. Not deterred by such threats from China, Japanese government continues to make aggressive changes in its defense policies.