Published on : Jan 15, 2015
The biggest defence budget put forth by Japan’s defence ministry has been approved by the Cabinet. The budget is inclusive of drones and F-35 fighter jets and surveillance aircrafts to combat Chinese assertiveness in the neighboring region. Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet drafted a US$42 billion defence budget for the next financial year, which is a part of the total US$814 billion budget. The budget is yet to be approved by the parliament, but Abe holds majority in both the houses.
The increase in the budget will cover new equipment such as F-35 fighter jets, P-1 surveillance aircraft, and amphibious vehicles for a new arm that will function on the lines of US Marine Corps. The objective of bigger budget is to increase Japan’s strength and ability to defend its uninhabited islands in East China Sea. These islands have been under dispute for a long time.
The new budget also covers the cost of buying two Aegis radar-equipped destroyers, many parts of “Golden Hawk” drones which have been planned for deployment in 2019, and a missile defence system with Washington.
Abe’s stance in the current defence scenario is quite a strong one despite a commitment to pacifism made after Japan lost the World War II. However, in 2013 the guidelines were revised as tensions grew in the East China Sea islands. China has been patrolling the East China Sea islands quite often with its boats. The islands are called Senkakus in Japan and Diaoyu in China.