08/29/2014 Defence IQ Press
Signalling further tensions in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan’s Ministry of Defence has requested a 2.4% increase in its annual budget. The 2015 budget will total ¥4.9 trillion ($47.25 billion).
In a budget request document, Japan’s MoD stated that the regional security environment has become more tense recently, citing China’s increasing activities in Japan’s vicinity as well as North Korea’s missile launches.
Its main priority is to increase its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities following threats against its sovereign territory from China and North Korea. “China’s lack of transparency in its broad and rapid military modernisation as well as rapid expansion and intensification of maritime activities,” as it’s put in the budget request document.
Japan is seeking to acquire4 P-1 fixed-wing patrol aircraft at a cost of ¥ 77.3 billion ($12.6 billion) to improve detection/discrimination capabilities, information processing capability, and attack capability compared to its existing P-3C fixed-wing patrol aircraft.
The MoD said it was considering introducing HALE-UAVs that would contribute to strengthening its wide-area persistent ISR capability.
Japan is also upping its F-35A count from four to six at a cost of ¥131.5 billion ($21.4 billion).
Other capability areas Japan is looking to bolster include responding to attacks on remote islets; responding to ballistic missile and guerrilla/special force attacks; responding to cyber attacks; large-scale natural disaster response; strengthening joint operations; and strengthening intelligence capabilities.