Japan plans to upgrade next fiscal year despite defense-oriented constitution — RT EN

5 Apr 2022 7:17 p.m

Japan’s Defense Ministry has said it is targeting more spending on the military next fiscal year. The possible rearmament is said to be based on the tensions in the region. Specifically, these are China and North Korea.

Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi announced on Monday that his ministry could request a higher budget for next fiscal year to boost Tokyo’s ability to withstand a potential military threat from a regional power.

Despite Japan’s commitment to a purely defense-oriented policy under the country’s constitution, Kishi announced the Asian country’s new goal of expanding its military might. Kishi explained in an interview with the Kyodo news agency:

“The defense budget is an important indicator that shows the will of the nation. We want to ensure a budget sufficient to drastically strengthen our defense capabilities.”

It went on to say that Japan needs to upgrade its army in the face of an increasingly difficult regional security environment. In particular, the Japanese defense minister warned of China’s increasing military power and the nuclear threat posed by North Korea.

Japan’s concerns mount as Pyongyang tests new ICBMs Tokyo is also said to be increasingly concerned about Beijing’s claims of sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands, an uninhabited Japanese archipelago in the East China Sea. However, Kishi did not mention the territorial dispute between Tokyo and Moscow over the Kuril Islands, a Russian archipelago that the Japanese authorities consider “illegally occupied”.

Earlier, the Kremlin broke off peace talks with the country and tightened visa restrictions for Japanese citizens after Tokyo imposed anti-Russian sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine. Russia and Japan never formally signed a peace treaty after the end of World War II.

The Japanese constitution, which distanced itself from war, was passed under US occupation in 1947. This anchors the considerable limitation of the war capabilities of the nation, which was previously armed to the teeth. However, for the past decade, the Japanese defense budget has increased annually. In the current budget year, it reached a record value of 44 billion US dollars, which corresponds to almost one percent of the country’s GDP.

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