Japan Defence Budget, Military Request, Suga Government, Strengthen Armed Forces

Japan Defence Budget, Military Request

Japan's military asks new government to continue strengthening of armed forces | Malay Mail

Japan's military asks new government to continue strengthening of armed forces | Malay Mail

30/9/2020 10:02:00 PM

Japan's military asks new government to continue strengthening of armed forces | Malay Mail

TOKYO, Sept 30 — Japan's military has asked Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's new government for its ninth straight annual budget increase, including funds to begin development of an advanced stealth fighter to counter new aircraft being deployed by China. The Ministry of Defence budget proposal...

Wednesday, 30 Sep 2020 03:31 PM MYTJapan's F-15 fighter jets (top and bottom) conduct an air exercise with US Air Force B-1B Lancer above the East China Sea, Japan in this photo released September 9, 2017. — Japan Defence Ministry handout via Reuters

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TOKYO, Sept 30 — Japan's military has asked Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's new government for its ninth straight annual budget increase, including funds to begin development of an advanced stealth fighter to counter new aircraft being deployed by China.

The Ministry of Defence budget proposal released today seeks a 3.3 per cent climb in spending to a record 5.49 trillion yen (RM217 billion) for the year starting April 1. Finance ministry officials will review and possibly amend the request before passing it on to Suga's cabinet.

If approved, the plan would continue a build-up pursued by Suga's predecessor Shinzo Abe, that has seen Japan buy planes, missiles and aircraft carriers to give its Self Defence Forces greater range and potency as neighboring China expands its navy and air forces in East Asia.

The latest defence budget request also comes as Japanese policymakers debate whether to arm and train its military to strike distant land targets in China, North Korea and other parts of Asia.Japan's new proposed jet fighter, the first in three decades, is expected to cost around US$40 billion (RM166.77 billion) and be ready sometime in the 2030s. The latest budget request asks for US$731 million for development and research.

Japan's leading defence company Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is expected to be named as lead contractor next month.Several overseas companies are also vying to join the project as suppliers and partners, including Lockheed Martin Corp, Boeing Co and Northrop Grumman Corp from the United States and BAE Systems Plc and Rolls Royce Holdings Plc from Britain.

Other proposed purchases include 66.6 billion yen for six Lockheed F-35 stealth fighters, two of which are short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) B variants that will operate off a converted helicopter carrier.The military also wants 99 billion yen to build two new compact warships that can operate with fewer sailors than conventional destroyers and ease pressure on a navy struggling to find recruits in an ageing Japan.

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It also wants to upgrade early warning radars and ballistic missile defences, and is asking for funds to be put aside for an as-yet undecided replacement for two planned Aegis Ashore radar stations that were cancelled in June due to costs and concerns about the impact on local residents. — Reuters

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