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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

04 January 2016

Japan's Record Defence Spending Boost

Japan's cabinet has approved a record ¥5.1 trillion (U$42.1 billion) military budget for the next financial year, its fourth annual increase. The spending boost is part of a ¥96.72 trillion overall budget that also sets a record high. The defence boost comes after a year of increasingly assertive maritime activity by China in disputed seas.

The plan also approves the purchase of a range of American defence hardware, deepening co-operation with the US: A surveillance drone, six F-35A fighters (¥108 billion yen), an AEGIS-equipped anti-ballistic missile ship (¥173 billion yen), 17 SH-60K patrol helicopters (¥103 billion yen), submarine construction, and spending on sonar development.

The Japanese parliament must approve the budget, but as PM Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party controls both houses of parliament, it is expected to pass.

The military spending boost is the fourth successive increase and represents a 1.5% boost on this year's total.