Japan’s government approved an eighth straight annual increase in defence spending. On Friday, the MPs have set another record, allocating the money for buying US-made stealth fighters, interceptor missiles and other military equipment.
Japan, in its efforts to counter military build-ups by North Korea and China, is increasing the defence spending again. In the eighth year in a row, the government approves the rising budget for the army.
Despite a Constitution that forbids the possession of offensive weapons, Japan is one of the world’s biggest military spenders. Japan’s defence budget will rise 1.1 per cent to a record 5.31 trillion yen (S$65.87 billion) in the year starting April 1, The Japan Times reports.
Since 2011, neighbouring China and North Korea make Tokyo increase its defence spending, year by year. Both countries are developing missiles that could deliver anywhere in Japan.
Japan, the US continue to cooperate in the defence sector
Amid the growing tensions with North Korea and China, Japan prefers to cooperate with Washington. Much of Japan’s recent defence spending splurge has gone on equipment supplied by US defence contractors. Traditionally, Lockheed Martin Corp and Raytheon Co are old good partners for the Japanese army.
In Japan, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has seen their share of defence spending shrink as well.
President Donald Trump has thanked Mr Abe for buying the US equipment, helping ease trade tensions between the allies.