World

Japan To Increase Defense Spending To Counter China

by H. Haverstock, The Chicago Times

November 19, 2021

TOKYO — Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called for a “new level” of defense cooperation with ally Australia in an extra budget set to be announced alongside an economic stimulus package on Friday.

The developments occur as Japan and Western allies such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia respond to rising Chinese militarization in the Asia-Pacific region.

According to the Japanese government, Japan would allocate 770 billion yen for defense, which far outweighs the defense budget of 430 billion yen in 2019.  The increased spending would approve purchases of missiles, aircraft, and fortifications for the southwestern islands.

Japan has long committed to keeping its military budgets at or below 1% of GDP, a figure that has allayed local and international fears of a return to the militarism that led to World War II.

However, as concerns over China’s military presence in the disputed East China Sea grew, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) included a target of spending 2% of GDP or more on the military.

Japan’s defense ministry is seeking funding for an indigenous stealth aircraft and missiles capable of traveling more than 1,000 kilometers.  Japan is also researching cyber, space, and electromagnetic warfare capabilities.