Japan’s Defense Ministry Seeks Record Budget of Over $40 Billion

NHK-WORLD News; Jiji Press Reuters01.09.2022 Asia
Japan’s Defense Ministry Seeks Record Budget of Over $40 Billion

Japan’s Defense Ministry Seeks Record Budget of Over $40 Billion

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Japan sees a combined budget request of over 110 trillion yen (US$ 793 billion) from Government Ministries for a second consecutive fiscal year due to record defense spending and rising debt-servicing costs, Reuters quoted local media on Wednesday.

Japan’s Ministry of Defense said it asked for a 3.6% increase in the annual budget to 5.6 trillion yen (about 40 US$ billion). The request will be approved by the government of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the end of the year when it will also unveil a major defense strategy overhaul and new midterm military buildup plan.

The Defense Ministry made the budget request as part of its drive to drastically enhance Japan’s defense capabilities over the next five years, according to Japan’s NHK-WORLD News.

The Ministry plans to start large-scale production of new long-range standoff missiles that can attack targets from outside enemy range and could be used for counterstrikes. They include an improved version of the Ground Self-Defense Force’s ground-to-ship missile and high-speed glide bombs to defend remote islands.

The Ministry also plans to develop unmanned aircraft that can be used not just for surveillance and information gathering, but also to launch attacks.

The Ministry further said it will construct vessels equipped with the Aegis anti-ballistic missile system to counter threats from China and Russia.

The Ministry plans to start large-scale production of new long-range standoff missiles that can attack targets from outside enemy range and could be used for counterstrikes. They include an improved version of the Ground Self-Defense Force’s ground-to-ship missile and high-speed glide bombs to defend remote islands.

The Ministry also plans to develop unmanned aircraft that can be used not just for surveillance and information gathering, but also to launch attacks.

The Finance Ministry requested 26.9 trillion yen ($19.2 billion) for debt servicing in the next fiscal year, marking a 10.9% increase from an initial debt-servicing budget for this year.

The Ministry increased the assumed interest rate to 1.3% from 1.2% in the previous year, in its first assumed rate change since fiscal 2007/2008.

The total budget request of over 110 trillion yen would be the second largest after the 111.7 trillion yen record set in 2021, Japanese media reported, adding a natural increase in social security expenditure on the aging population was also among factors that boosted government spending.

However, since many budget items such as defense expenditure and measures to address inflation remain to be decided, the final spending for the fiscal year starting April 2023 would represent a record high for an 11th year, Jiji news agency said.

 
 

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