Japan to Double its Military Spending in the Next Five Years

18.12.2022 Asia
Japan to Double its Military Spending in the Next Five Years

Japan to Double its Military Spending in the Next Five Years

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Japan announced on Friday it will double its military spending in the next five years, citing threats posed by China and North Korea. It will also acquire the ability to strike enemy bases.

The five-year plan will make Japan the world’s third-biggest military spender after the United States and China, based on current budgets.

The changes mark the most dramatic overhaul to Japan’s security strategy since it adopted a pacifist constitution after World War II, BBC reported.

Under the plan, Tokyo will buy US long-range missiles capable of destroying enemy launch sites if it is attacked.

It will also increase its cyber warfare capabilities. Earlier this week, Beijing urged Tokyo to view their relationship as a cooperative partnership.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told journalists Japan’s defense budget would be 2% of GDP by 2027.

“Unfortunately in the vicinity of our country, there are countries carrying out activities such as enhancement of nuclear capability, a rapid military build-up and unilateral attempt to change the status quo by force,” he said.

“These are also now becoming more outstanding. In the next five years, in order to fundamentally reinforce our defense capabilities we will implement a defense build-up program worth 43 trillion yen ($314.5 billion).”

A national security strategy document approved by the cabinet and quoted by AFP news agency described China as “the greatest strategic challenge ever to securing the peace and stability of Japan”. It also noted that China had not ruled out the use of force to assert control over Taiwan.

China’s Embassy in Japan responded by accusing Tokyo of making false claims about its military activities.

There are also concerns in Japan about North Korea’s missile capability. Pyongyang has fired more than 50 missiles over the past three months, including a ballistic missile over Japan in October - the first time for five years.

Meanwhile the Japanese document described the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a “serious violation of laws that forbid the use of force” which had “shaken the foundations of the international order”.

A previous national security document in 2013 described China and Russia as strategic partners.

The Biden administration welcomed Japan’s new national security strategy, with the White House calling it a “bold and historic step to strengthen and defend the free and open Indo-Pacific,” Reuters reported.

White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan said the new policy envisions “a broad and strong community of partners and allies in support of peace and stability in the region.”

Japan’s intent to significantly increase defense spending will “strengthen and modernize” the U.S.-Japan alliance and “help us and our partners achieve lasting peace, stability, and prosperity,” Sullivan wrote.

In a separate statement, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said “Japan’s new documents reshape the ability of our alliance to promote peace and protect the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world.” (BBC; FPA; Reuters; Photo © Mitsubishi: F-X Sixth-Generation Stealth Fighter in development for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force)




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