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Report on Japanese Military Power 2012 (7)

(People's Daily Online)

10:57, July 19, 2013

III. National Defense Budget

Japan’s national defense budget has been second only to that of the U.S. from 1993 to 2008. As a result of low economic growth in recent years, there has been a slight decrease in Japan’s defense budget since 2002. According to the Defense of Japan 2012, the defense budget for FY 2012 is 4,713.8 billion yen (including an 8.6 billion-yen budget for the Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO)-related projects and a 59.9 billion-yen budget for U.S. military bases), 1.3% lower than that of the previous year. As part of the budget for disaster relief for the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake is defense related, the final defense budget for 2012 is 4,827.4 billion yen.

Since 2008, both the institutional budget for Japan’s Security Council and the special budget for JSDF space development have become invisible, as neither has been included in the overall national defense budget. According to the 2011 MTDP, Japan’s national defense budget from 2011 to 2015 is 23.49 trillion yen. In addition, the government will add 100 billion yen for contingencies. The huge defense budget will greatly boost Japanese military strength in the next five years. Japan’s national defense budget for FY 2012 is based on what it thinks lessons learned from more serious security environment and the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake. It is also prepared in accordance with the 2010 NDPG and 2011 MTDP. Japan claims that the main objectives of the defense budget include enhancing effective deterrence and response, improving security environment in the Asia-Pacific region and the world, upgrading missile defense systems; strengthening warning, surveillance and responsive capabilities for the Southwestern region, etc. All these objectives not only reveal Japan’s ambition to step up efforts for a major military power, but also explain its efforts to continue stirring up “China Threat”. To realize those objectives, budget priorities of FY2012 are set accordingly. From 2012, Japan will spend 115.5 billion yen in building a 195,000-ton frigate, 54.7 billion yen in building a 2,900-ton submarine, 39.5 billion yen in procuring four F-35 fighters, 34.5 billion yen in modifying Patriotic anti-missile systems, and 122.4 billion yen in operating the X-Band SATCOM system. All these huge investments are aimed at strengthening peripheral air and maritime warning and surveillance and improving maritime and air operational capabilities, for the purpose of preparing for the so-called “China Threat” against the “Southeastern islands”.

What can be concluded from the two sections above is that it will be hard for the Japanese government to rapidly build up its military power through significant defense budget increase in a foreseeable future amid economic stagnation, fiscal difficulties, and an aging society. However, thanks to its economic and fiscal scale, Japan is still able to make impressive progress in its military buildup in a gradual and accumulative manner by giving a full play of both existing capabilities and potentials, setting up priorities, and improving effectiveness. This is verified by the fact that into the 21st century, there has been no increase in Japan’s defense budget, yet there has been continuous increase in its military strength.

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【11】 【12】 【13】 【14】 【15】 【16】 【17】

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:ZhangQian、Chen Lidan)

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