Press Esc to close

Japan to boost military spending as China row simmers

Tokyo, Dec 17, 2013 (AFP) 15:33 IST
Bayonets attached to rifles used by Japanese Self-Defense Forces are seen in front of Japan's rising sun flag, which is used by the forces, during the annual troop review ceremony at Asaka Base in Asaka, near Tokyo October 27, 2013.  Reuters file image
Japan today said it intends to boost military spending by five per cent over the next five years, with a hardware splurge that will beef up defence of far-flung islands amid a territorial row with China.

The cabinet of hawkish Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed USD 240 billion would be spent between 2014 and 2019, including on drones, submarines, fighter jets and amphibious vehicles, in a strategic shift towards the south and west.

The shopping list is part of efforts by Abe to normalise the military in Japan, which has been officially pacifist since defeat in World War II. Its well-equipped and highly professional services are limited to a narrowly defined self-defensive role.

It comes with the establishment of a US-style National Security Council that is expected to concentrate greater power in the hands of a smaller number of senior politicians and bureaucrats.

Fears are growing in Japan over the rising power of China, with the two countries embroiled in a dispute over the sovereignty of a group of islands in the East China Sea, and the perennial menace posed by an unpredictable North Korea.

New defence guidelines approved by the cabinet said Tokyo will introduce a "dynamic joint defence force", intended to help air, land and sea forces work together more effectively.

"China... is taking dangerous action that could draw unexpected contingencies," said the guidelines.

Under the mid-term defence programme, spending will be raised to 24.7 trillion yen over five years from April 2014, up from the present 23.5 trillion yen over the five years to March 2014.

However, this figure may be trimmed by up to 700 billion yen if the defence ministry can take "effective and rational" measures in its procurement.

New hardware would include three drones, 52 amphibious vehicles, 17 Osprey hybrid choppers and five submarines -- all designed to boost maritime surveillance and bolster defence of islands.

It will also mean two destroyers equipped with the Aegis anti-missile system and 28 new F-35 fighter jets, a stealth plane far superior to the F-15s that Japan currently has in service.

"The guidelines underscore a clear shift of Japan's major defence focus to the protection of its islands in the East China Sea," said Hideshi Takesada, an expert on regional security at Takushoku University in Tokyo.

During the Cold War, Japan's military was largely static, with the majority of resources in the north and east to guard against any invasion by Russia.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
CPI(M) workers chant slogans at a protest rally outside BJP headquarters in New Delhi on Tuesday...

CPI(M) workers chant slogans at a protest rally outside BJP headquarters in New Delhi on Tuesday...

Woman teachers pose with Diwali greeting messages at a school in Moradabad on Tuesday...

Woman teachers pose with Diwali greeting messages at a school in Moradabad on Tuesday...

A girl buying decorative items in a market on the occasion of Dhanteras festival in Bhopal on ...

A girl buying decorative items in a market on the occasion of Dhanteras festival in Bhopal on ...

Vendors show lanterns to customers at a roadside market ahead of the Hindu festival of Diwali in ...

Vendors show lanterns to customers at a roadside market ahead of the Hindu festival of Diwali in ...

BJP National President Amit Shah and BJP Kerala state president Kummanam Rajasekharan wave to the ..

BJP National President Amit Shah and BJP Kerala state president Kummanam Rajasekharan wave to the ..

England Midfielder Callum Hudson-Odoi(14) and Hinata Kida(6),Midfielder of Japan vie for the ball ..

England Midfielder Callum Hudson-Odoi(14) and Hinata Kida(6),Midfielder of Japan vie for the ball ..

Actress and BJP MP Hema Malini along with her daughters Ahana and Esha cutting a cake to celebrate..

Actress and BJP MP Hema Malini along with her daughters Ahana and Esha cutting a cake to celebrate..

Union Minister for Defence, Nirmala Sitharaman with Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba and ..

Union Minister for Defence, Nirmala Sitharaman with Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba and ..

Kamaraj Congress (KKC) and Most Backward Communities Federation demonstrators lying on the road in..

Kamaraj Congress (KKC) and Most Backward Communities Federation demonstrators lying on the road in..

Rajesh Talwar arrives at his residence in Noida on Monday after he, along with his wife Nupur, was..

Rajesh Talwar arrives at his residence in Noida on Monday after he, along with his wife Nupur, was..

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.