Japan wants to add $ 6.75 billion to its annual military budget, the increase of which is being driven like never before by the government of the new prime minister, Fumio Kishida, reports Reuters.
The Kishida government, which took office last October, approved the increase on Friday as part of a supplementary budget. Now these expenses, set to modernize the air and maritime defense systems, must receive the approval of the legislators.
“As the security environment around Japan worsens at an unprecedented speed, our urgent task is to accelerate the execution of various projects, “quoted a statement from the Ministry of Defense.
Specifically, the additional injections will allow the surface-to-air-class missile launchers deployed in the Japanese islands of the South China Sea to be upgraded three months ahead of schedule.
In addition, the US-made Patriot PAC-3 surface-to-air missile systems will be modernized. The extra expenses will also pave the way for the purchase of anti-submarine missiles, maritime patrol and cargo aircraft.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden expressed in October to Kishida during a phone call his hope that the Asian country would increase military spending, he details. Kyodo, citing a diplomatic source.
The proposal to increase the military budget is related to the electoral promise of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party of doubling defense spending to 2% of GDP. In addition, Kishida stressed in September that defense expenditures they should not be “bound by numbers”.
For decades, Japan’s military expenditures remained at around 1% of GDP in accordance with the policy of renouncing war as the sovereign right of the nation embodied in the current Constitution.