PM Yoshihide Suga reviews the Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force at Iruma Air Base in Sayama, Japan. File/Reuters
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s government approved a ninth consecutive rise in military spending on Monday, funding the development of an advanced stealth fighter and longer-range anti-ship missile to counter China’s growing military power.
The Ministry of Defense will get a record 5.34 trillion yen ($51.7 billion) for the year starting in April, up 1.1% from this year. With Suga’s large majority in parliament, enactment of the budget is all but certain.
Suga is continuing the controversial military expansion pursued by his predecessor, Shinzo Abe, to give Japan’s forces new planes, missiles and aircraft carriers with greater range and potency against potential foes including neighbouring China.
China plans to raise its military spending 6.6% this year, the smallest increase in three decades.
Japan is buying longer-range missiles and considering arming and training its military to strike distant land targets in China, North Korea and other parts of Asia.
A planned jet fighter, the first in three decades, is expected to cost around $40 billion and be ready in the 2030s. That project, which will be led by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd with help from Lockheed Martin Corp, gets $706 million in the new budget.
Japan will spend $323 million to begin development of a long-range anti-ship missile to defend its southwestern Okinawan island chain.
Other big purchases include $628 million for six Lockheed F-35 stealth fighters, including two short-takeoff and vertical-landing (STOVL) B variants that will operate off a converted helicopter carrier.
The military will also get $912 million to build two compact warships that can operate with fewer sailors than conventional destroyers, easing pressure on a navy struggling to find recruits in an ageing population.
Japan also wants two new warships to carry powerful new Aegis air and ballistic missile defence radars that have much as three times the range of older models. The government has not yet estimated the cost of the plan, which replaces a project cancelled in June to construct two ground Aegis Ashore stations.
Japan unveiled on Tuesday a second package of measures worth about $4 billion in spending to cope with the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak, focusing on support to small and mid-sized firms, as concerns mount about risks to the fragile economy.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff reported that North Korea had fired a suspected ballistic missile toward the sea off its east coast from a location near Sunan, where Pyongyang's international airport is located.
Japan’s government has approved a record budget spending worth $939 billion for the coming fiscal year, the Ministry of Finance said on Friday, as it tries to balance the need to boost growth and manage the industrial world’s heaviest public debt burden.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) revealed that approximately 5.73 million employees have subscribed to the Unemployment Insurance Scheme since it went into effect on Jan.1, 2023, up until Sept.25, 2023.
Sheikh Hamdan inaugurated the third edition of the Dubai World Congress for Self-Driving Transport and honoured the winners of the Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport.
She added that immediately after the operation, she had severe bleeding and blood accumulation in the neck, after which she was admitted to intensive care for two days.