Japan presents defense budget with record spending for 2023

Tokyo, Aug 31 (EFE).- The Japanese Defense Ministry presented its budget project for next year Wednesday, including the record spending of 5.59 billion yen (39,710 million euros) to acquire new weapons such as drones combat or hypersonic and long-range missiles.

The spending plan requested by the Japanese ministry for the next financial year includes equipment intended to increase both the national defensive potential and its “counter-attack capabilities,” a new concept the executive wants to introduce into the national security strategy.

The justification for what will be the largest military spending to date is the growing challenges surrounding Japan. The ministry said these included Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, China’s “continuous attempts to change the ‘status quo'” in the region and the intensification of North Korea’s provocations, according to the document presented Wednesday.

Japan plans to acquire for the first time American Joint Air-to-Surface Stand-off Missiles long, capable of hitting targets some 1,000 kilometers away, in addition to producing other models that can also be equipped on ships domestically and on a large scale.

The budget includes the research and development of hypersonic missiles, a project whose cost is not detailed and with which Japan would aspire to counteract the tests and deployments of this type of weapon by China, North Korea and Russia.

The acquisition of new PAC and Aegis anti-missile shields is also planned, as well as naval radars to improve the ability to intercept next-generation projectiles, as well as the purchase of unmanned combat aircraft (Japan currently only has surveillance drones.) This can be used in conflicts minimizing human casualties, according to the document.

The draft budget presented by defense will now be reviewed by the Japanese government, which plans to approve it in parliament in the beginning of next year with a view to its coming into force in April 2023, when the new fiscal year begins.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s government also plans to approve a new National Security Strategy toward the end of this year, to formalize the concept of “counter-attack capabilities,” among other innovations aimed at reinforcing the national military potential. EFE


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