Tokyo, December 21
Japan’s Cabinet approved a ninth straight increase in the nation’s defence budget as the government bolsters funding to develop longer-range cruise missiles and stealth fighters to counter potential threats from China and North Korea.
$51.7 billion budget
The record 5.34 trillion yen (USD 51.7 billion) defence budget for next fiscal is 1.1 per cent increase over the current year’s budget.
The record 5.34 trillion yen (USD 51.7 billion) defence budget planned for fiscal 2021 is the first under Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and is a 1.1 per cent increase over the current year’s budget. It is set for parliamentary approval early next year as part of a 106 trillion yen (USD 1.03 trillion) national budget totaling for the fiscal year beginning in April.
The budget plan includes the costs to develop extended-range missiles that can be fired from destroyers or fighter jets, defence ministry officials said. That’s part of Japan’s new missile deterrence plan adopted by Suga’s Cabinet last Friday that would allow Japan to expand missile deployment in areas including islands it controls in the East China Sea that are also claimed by Beijing.
Suga’s government is carrying on the priorities of his predecessor, Shinzo Abe, a military hawk. Under Abe’s nearly eight-year tenure, Japan expanded its military’s international role amid a growing perceived threat from China and North Korea. — Agencies