Amid escalating and endless confrontations with China, the Japanese government has been sharply increasing both its military capabilities and budget. As per reports, Japan’s defence budget for the next fiscal year seeks a whopping $51.6 billion.
The Japanese government has been increasing its defence budget over the past few years despite the fast that the Japanese military is mainly for self-defence, as the name Japanese Self Defence Force suggests.
Japan’s defense ministry has said the budget increase is “inevitable,” citing heightened hostilities in the region. Tokyo had earlier stated that it is keeping a close watch on North Korean missile threats and Chinese activities in the South China Sea.
Japan’s suspicion of China is only growing as Beijing continues to conduct hostile military drills in region including the Taiwan Straits, the disputed islands of Senkaku/ Diaoyu and even up in the Himalayas against India.
The Japanese defense ministry said the proposed budget would assist Japan in developing outer space and cyberspace capabilities. Electronic warfare units designed to thwart enemy assaults through the use of the electromagnetic are covered in the proposal. Japanese military spending in 2021 would also incorporate the development of next-generation fighter jets.
The defense budget is being submitted at a time when Japan is also contemplating a replacement for the American Aegis Ashore missile defence systems. Tokyo is reportedly deciding between two options, building a new Aegis destroyer, or deploying a frigate equipped with Aegis radar, as an alternative to Aegis Ashore, according to the reports.
Japan has been a close ally of the USA and NATO, as well as a strategic partner of India, Taiwan and ASEAN nations, most of whom are facing Chinese belligerence. The heightened defence budget could mean that Japan is strengthening its defence capabilities to negotiate Chinese threats and re-emerge as a global military power.