Budget for Japan's New Defense Program to Top 27 T. Yen

Politics

Tokyo, Dec. 13 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government is mulling setting the budget for its next five-year defense buildup program from fiscal 2019 at a record level of over 27 trillion yen, informed sources said Thursday.

The amount will be up from the planned spending level of about 24.67 trillion yen for the current program for fiscal 2014 to fiscal 2018.

The new program will include projects to revamp the Izumo, the Maritime Self-Defense Force's largest destroyer, to a de facto aircraft carrier, introduce cutting-edge F-35B stealth fighters capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings, and deploy the Aegis Ashore land-based missile defense system.

The F-35B and the Aegis Ashore system will be procured from the United States under the country's Foreign Military Sales program, leading to a sharp rise in Japan's FMS-related spending.

As equipment procurement under the FMS program is bound to be relatively costly to the advantage of the U.S. side, the new defense program will clarify Tokyo's policy of calling on Washington to step up rationalization efforts, the sources said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press