Japan plans to drastically increase defense budget — RT EN

6 Apr 2022 3:23 pm

Tokyo plans to drastically increase its defense budget. According to Nobuo Kishi, the country’s defense minister, they want to be able to withstand a possible military threat from a regional power.

Japan’s Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi has said his ministry could request a larger budget for next fiscal year to bolster 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, Tokyo is striving to expand its military might. Kishi said in an interview with 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.”

The defense minister also said Japan needed to increase its army in view of the increasingly difficult regional security situation. In particular, he warned of China’s growing military confidence and the nuclear threat posed by North Korea.

Tokyo’s fears of North Korea are mounting as Pyongyang says it is testing new ICBMs. In addition, Japan is increasingly concerned about Beijing’s claims to sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands, an uninhabited archipelago in the East China Sea.

However, Kishi did not mention the territorial dispute between Tokyo and Moscow over the Kuril Islands, a group of islands under the authority of the Russian Federation. Tokyo describes the archipelago as “illegally occupied”.

Earlier, the Kremlin scrapped peace talks with the Land of the Rising Sun 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.

Japan’s constitution, passed under US occupation in 1947, severely limits the previously militaristic nation’s military capabilities. In the past ten years, however, the Japanese defense budget has increased steadily. In the current fiscal year, it has reached a record $44 billion, which accounts for almost one percent of the country’s GDP.

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