Japanese military asks for record $50bn defense budget to oppose China, N. Korea

Wednesday, August 31, 2016
By Paul Martin

31 Aug, 2016

Japan is poised to hike its defense spending again, breaking the record for the fifth year in a row. The money would boost Tokyo’s ability to oppose Beijing in the South China Sea and protect itself from a possible missile attack by North Korea.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet will require 5.17 trillion yen (US$50 billion) from parliament, the Japanese Defense Ministry announced Wednesday. If approved, it would translate into a 2.3 percent boost in the country’s defense spending. The Finance Ministry is yet to check the request before it is potentially sent to legislators.

One of the biggest portions of the military budget, about $1 billion, would go on upgrading Japan’s PAC-3 Patriot surface-to-air missile defense systems to increase range and accuracy for deployment in 2020, the submitted proposal stated.

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