SINGAPORE, 26 December (ANI): To counter China’s assertiveness, Japan has boosted its military spending to record levels, the Singapore Post reported.
Japan’s new national security strategy promises to increase its defense budget from 1% of GDP to 2%. The Kishida government approved a record $862 billion budget for fiscal year 2023, with a large portion earmarked for defense spending in response to growing regional security challenges from China.
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The budget includes $277.6 billion for social security and $51 billion for the military, a 26.3 percent increase over the current defense budget of $40.6 billion, Kyodo News reported.
The government recently approved three key defense policy initiatives, including a national security strategy that calls China Japan’s “biggest challenge”.
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The move is widely seen as a departure from Japan’s postwar constitution, which renounces war or the use of force to settle international disputes.
But Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Japan would maintain its entirely defense-oriented policy of using defensive forces only in the event of an attack, the Singapore Post reported.
The increase in military spending puts Japan in third place in the world in terms of military spending, after the United States and China.
The defense budget includes spending on improvements and mass production of the Ground Self-Defense Force’s surface-to-ship missiles, which are expected to be a key component of Japan’s counterattack capability.
Other items on Japan’s military spending list for the next five years include high-speed glide weapons, hypersonic missiles, unmanned surveillance drones and US-made Tomahawk missiles. According to local reports, the budget also includes costs related to hosting the US military base, according to the Singapore Post.
In responding to regional security challenges from China, North Korea, and Russia, Japan seeks to have the ability to strike back.
Japan worries about its own vulnerability as China expands its military presence near Taiwan and the East China Sea. The CCP regime does not rule out taking back Taiwan by force.
Other countries, including the Philippines, have also raised concerns about China’s military activities. The Philippine Defense Ministry is also beefing up its military to prevent the Chinese regime from encroaching on its territory in the disputed South China Sea, which Beijing also claims, the Singapore Post reported.
The Chinese regime seeks to conquer Taiwan through kinetic or non-kinetic actions, which would put Japan’s sea lanes and southernmost islands at risk. Along with South China Sea and South Korea, Japan is the next potential target of Chinese expansion after Taiwan.
Rahm Emanuel, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, responded that “the Prime Minister is making a clear and unequivocal strategic statement on Japan’s role as a security provider in the Indo-Pacific region.”
The Japanese military is investing in new counter-missiles, including a surface-to-ship missile developed by Mitsubishi, the purchase of U.S. Tomahawk cruise missiles and the ability to coordinate long-range deliveries of munitions to Chinese military bases with the U.S.
China and Russia’s de facto alliance with North Korea has prompted Tokyo to place a greater emphasis on defense. Pyongyang fired a suspected nuclear-capable ballistic missile over Japan in October, prompting Japan to order residents to take cover, the Singapore Post reported. (Arnie)
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)