Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet approves a USD42-billion military budget, the largest defense expenditure in Japan’s 70-year history. The increase in military spending help boost territorial defense in light of China’s aggressive actions.
With regards to increased military budget, China released a statement. “Japan’s policies in the military and security field have always attracted great attention from its Asian neighbors and the international community. We hope that the Japanese side can draw lessons from history, follow the path of peaceful development and work constructively to promote regional peace and stability,” Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a press briefing.
Japan is set to procure surveillance aircraft, drones and F-35 fighter jets from the US and to boost defense of islands in Senkaku (Diaoyu). “The level of defence spending reflects the amount necessary to protect Japan’s air, sea and land, and guard the lives and property of our citizens,” Japans Defense Minister Gen Nakatani said as quoted by international news outlets.
The budget still needs parliamentary approval, however, Abe’s coalition has the majority in two houses. Fiscal year in Japan starts April.