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Japan to boost spending on air and sea defences

Japanese helicopter carrier Kaga, Japanese destroyer Inazuma, and British frigate HMS Argyll take part in a joint naval drill in the Indian Ocean. File   | Photo Credit: Reuters

Japan’s Cabinet on Friday approved a 770 billion yen ($6.8 billion) request for an extra defense budget through March to expedite the purchase of missiles, anti-submarine rockets and other weapons amid rising concern over the escalation of military activities by China, Russia and North Korea.

The request, still pending parliamentary approval, brings Japan’s military spending for the current year to a new high of more than 6.1 trillion yen ($53.2 billion), up 15% from 5.31 trillion yen in 2020.

The Defense Ministry says its “defense power reinforcement and acceleration package” is designed to speed up deployment of some of the key equipment from the 2022 budget request. The goal is to beef up Japan’s defenses against North Korea’s missile threat and China’s increasingly assertive maritime activity around remote Japanese southwestern islands, officials said.

Japan has also raised concerns over recent joint military activities by China and Russia near its waters and airspace.

A fleet of two Chinese H-6 fighters and two Russian Tu-95s flew from the Sea of Japan to the East China Sea and to the Pacific Ocean, triggering Japanese Self-Defense Force jets to scramble, Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said Tuesday.


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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 12:44:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/japan-to-boost-spending-on-air-and-sea-defences/article37710661.ece

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